As Yemen enters its 9th year of conflict and economic turmoil, leaving over two thirds of the population (21.6 million people) in need of humanitarian assistance, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is calling on donors to fund the humanitarian response targeting 17.3 million people in Yemen, which still remains one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world. 

Jared Rowell, IRC Yemen Country Director, said,

“The humanitarian response continues to be drastically underfunded, while the need is increasing. More than 2 in 3 people are in need of humanitarian assistance. In 2022, only 54% of the response was funded. Shortages in funding impacted 13 million Yemenis in June 2022.

“Going into its 9th year of war this March, the needs are deepening and becoming more extensive as time goes on. Food insecurity is at the worst levels in three years, and is likely to worsen as economic constraints become more urgent. Malnutrition rates among women and children are some of the highest in the world, with 1.3 million pregnant or breastfeeding women and 2.2 million children requiring treatment.”

Remaining in the top five countries most at risk of deteriorating humanitarian crises on the IRC Watchlist 2023, the country is suffering the cumulative impact of protracted conflict, economic turmoil and climate shocks, which have progressively destroyed livelihoods and critical systems people cannot live without.

Yemen is facing a deepening economic crisis in 2023 whilst it is at risk of a return to wide-scale conflict following the collapse of a UN-brokered truce between April and October 2022, during which civilian casualties were significantly reduced. Following a major surge in air strikes in the first quarter of 2022, Yemen saw the highest annual civilian casualty rate in air war since 2019.

According to the Humanitarian Response Plan, continuing hostilities are likely to remain a key driver of needs and displacement, with an estimated 4.5 million people - 14% of the population - currently displaced. Other drivers of displacement including natural disasters and climate-induced events, such as drought and flooding, will heighten the needs of already displaced populations.

The IRC, has been working in Yemen since 2012 and rapidly scaled our programming in 2015 to address greater humanitarian needs caused by the conflict, is one of the largest nongovernmental health actors in the country, providing lifesaving emergency aid, clean water, education, women’s protection and medical care to millions of people in Yemen affected by violent conflict.