Despite political progress, humanitarian crisis continues in Yemen

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UNHCR reports that nearly half a million people have been displaced due to conflicts in the northern and southern regions of the country. Credit: Yemen Humanitarian Team

The humanitarian challenges in Yemen remain enormous, according to release from the Yemen Humanitarian Country Team.

But it says humanitarian partners aim to significantly scale up life-saving assistance through providing improved access to health care, nutrition interventions, clean water and improved sanitation, shelter and protection services, as well as food assistance for millions of Yemenis.

The team, made up of more than 80 organizations, including UN agencies and non-governmental organizations, said that over the past two years, unrest and instability led to a near-collapse of most basic services and an even sharper increase in poverty, causing alarming rates of food insecurity and malnutrition.

The lack of healthcare, clean water and proper sanitation for millions of people has resulted in new outbreaks of fatal diseases, including measles, cholera and polio, and maternal mortality remains high.

The team warns that if not urgently addressed, this situation could deteriorate further. Despite the on-going transition process, the Yemeni people have not yet recovered from these shocks or felt any tangible peace dividends.

According to the Yemen Humanitarian Country team, conflict has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. But, while most of those fleeing the violence last year in the south have now returned home, urgent assistance is required to restore damaged infrastructure and basic services and to re-establish law and order to make those returns sustainable.

At the same time, the team warns that if stability is to be maintained and the cycle of violence broken, root causes of the conflict must be addressed, especially unemployment and poverty.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’38″

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