Joint Statement: Humanitarian partners urge donors to remain committed to the millions in need in Yemen

Published 06. May 2024
Ahead of the Sixth Senior Officials Meeting on 7 May in Brussels, the United Nations, international NGOs and Yemeni Civil Society Organisations urgently appeal for sustained support for the 18.2 million people in need in Yemen. Five months into 2024, just US $0.4 billion of the 2024 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan requirement of $2.7 billion has been received.

After nine years of conflict, over half the population in Yemen—18.2 million people, including 14 million women and children—requires humanitarian assistance and protection services.

The humanitarian community in Yemen, committed to serving populations in a principled manner, continues to deliver one of the world’s largest humanitarian responses in a challenging and complex operational environment. In 2023, 229 humanitarian actors—the majority of whom were local partners—supported an average of 8.4 million people each month with life-saving protection and humanitarian assistance. Aid is reaching those in need, despite constraints of access and funding.

Today, Yemen is at a crossroads. The country witnessed slight improvements in humanitarian conditions following the UN-brokered truce and its de facto continuation. With these gains, partners have moved towards resilience-building programming, promoting sustainable solutions by addressing the drivers of needs. However, we cannot ignore the significant humanitarian needs that remain and that cannot be addressed without adequate funding to respond.

Economic decline, deteriorating public services and infrastructure and displacement induced by conflict and climate-related disasters continue to drive the humanitarian crisis. Rising food insecurity, the risk of increasing malnutrition rates - particularly among pregnant and lactating women, older people and children - and the spread of cholera during the current rainy season, pose threats to communities across the country. Violations of International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law continue, and the presence of explosive remnants of war results in death, injury and displacement, restricts access to agricultural land and resettlement and hinders post-conflict reconstruction and development efforts.

Funding for a focused and well-prioritized 2024 Humanitarian Response Plan must be ensured to sustain the gains made and prevent further deterioration of the humanitarian situation. To date, only $435 million of Yemen’s 2024 Humanitarian Response Plan requirement of $2.7 billion has been funded–leaving unmet requirements of $2.3 billion. Underfunding poses a challenge to the continuity of humanitarian programming, causing delays, reductions and suspensions of lifesaving assistance programmes. These challenges directly affect the lives of millions who depend on humanitarian assistance and protection services for survival.

Humanitarian partners are committed to transforming the response in Yemen and reducing humanitarian needs. As partners, together, we will continue to improve the quality of humanitarian assistance and maximize impact with targeted, quality programming based on need. Partners will expand collaboration with development actors and promote more Yemeni leadership for a locally-led and locally informed response, to help Yemenis rebuild their futures. To do so, however, humanitarian partners’ sustained support is required.

Inaction would have catastrophic consequences for the lives of Yemeni women, children and men. The Sixth Senior Officials Meeting is a critical moment to galvanize support and collective action to address the deteriorating crisis. The humanitarian community appeals to donors to urgently address existing funding gaps, and provide sustainable support to enhance resilience and reduce aid dependency.