• Crisis Severity ?
    4.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.7
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    4.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    4.5
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    5.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 30,066,000 Total population [?]
  • 30,066,000 People affected [?]
  • 24,164,000 People in Need [?]
  • 3,650,000 IDPs [?]

Overview

29/07/2019

The decade long conflict between the government and the Houthi movement escalated in 2015. The crisis has exacerbated historic vulnerabilities including chronic poverty, weak governance, corruption, over-dependence on imports, dwindling oil revenues, and water scarcity.? After President Hadi fled the capital Sana’a to the southern port city of Aden, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE began bombing Houthi-controlled areas. At least 24.1 million people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance.? In January 2019, some 64,000 people were in Catastrophe (IPC-5) levels of food insecurity, nearly 5 million people in Emergency (IPC-4) and 10.9 million in Crisis (IPC-3).?

Approximately 19.7 million people lack adequate healthcare, of whom 14 million are in acute need of assistance.? Around 300,000 suspected cholera cases and 578 deaths (CFR 0.19%) have been reported since the start of 2019.? From January to June 2019, there were 517,020 suspected cases and 755 deaths (CFR 0.15%) from cholera, which is already more suspected cases and deaths than what was recorded for the whole of 2018.? All governorates are affected, with 2,500 suspected cases reported daily. 17.8 million people lack access to WASH services, exacerbating the situation.? Fighting and bureaucracy restrict access to affected areas and the rainy season (April to August) will likely accelerate the spread of the disease. In Yemen, both rainy and dry conditions aggravate the spread of disease.

Widespread violations of international humanitarian law, including the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructure by airstrikes and shelling, have resulted in loss of life, displacement, and destruction of infrastructure.? From the beginning of 2018 to the end of June 2019, approximately 6,850 civilian causalities and 2,650 civilian deaths have been recorded as a direct result of the fighting.? A UN-brokered ceasefire in December 2018 reduced violence in Al Hudaydah, however, fighting has continued on numerous active frontlines across the country. In 2019 an additional 300,000 people have been displaced bringing the total number of internally displaced people (IDPs) to an estimated 4 million people dispersed across all governorates. The majority having been displaced since March 2015.? Migrants and refugees, mostly from Ethiopia, continue to arrive in southern Yemen. April and May 2019 have seen some of the highest monthly averages of arrivals. IOM estimates that 18,320 refugees and migrants arrived in April 2019 and 18,904 people arrived in May 2019.? This is despite voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) flights coordinated by the Mixed Migration Working Group throughout May and June 2019 for migrants detained in informal detention centres with little to no services.

INFORM measures Yemen's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be very high, at 7.8/10.?

Latest Developments

14/11/2019

07/11: On 7 November, a MSF-run hospital in Al- Mukha (south-west Yemen) was partially destroyed by a missile targeting surrounding buildings, including a military warehouse. The hospital is the only free of charge civilian facility providing emergency trauma, obstetric, and surgical services to half a million people along the western coast. The hospital's warehouse and pharmacy were burnt and the building was heavily damaged. No casualties were reported, but medical activities were suspended and the health personnel relocated to Aden.?

Humanitarian Access

31/10/2019

EXTREME CONSTRAINTS

Access continues to be very challenging due to conflict in the south between the Government of Yemen and the Southern Transitional Council (STC), and bureaucratic constraints in the north. Over 6 million people live in 75 hard to reach districts, with bureaucracy and conflict the main impediments to meeting humanitarian needs. Conflict blocks people from markets and services, particularly in Aden, Al Hodeidah, Ad Dhali’ and Hajjah. Fuel and gas shortages disrupt electricity, water, sanitation and health services and raise the cost of basic goods. On 20 June 2019, the World Food Programme suspended food distribution in Sana’a for over a month due to Houthi restrictions on beneficiary selection and monitoring. Project approvals in the north take over 100 days on average. Agencies in the south face challenges at checkpoints, particularly for northern staff. Access could decrease further if the Stockholm agreement, or Saudi-led talks in Jeddah, fail, resulting in renewed conflict.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Oil spill of floating storage and offloading vessel could cause high environmental impact in the Red Sea and Yemen

Latest update: 16/10/2019

No. of people affected

Current situation
0
Future situation
9.5 million

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

Rationale

The floating storage and offloading (FSO) terminal SAFER, a previously converted oil tanker, is moored in the Red Sea off the coast of Ras Issa, 50km northwest of Al Hudaydah port. Since 2015, the FSO has been under Houthi control; however, they have stopped maintaining the structure. The FSO has been  neglected probably due to lack of capacity, coupled with the fact that following the Saudi-led coalition naval blockade in 2015 and airstrikes on the Al Hudaydah port’s infrastructure, the Houthis were unable to carry out any type of oil operation.

The Houthis have been demanding a share of the one million barrels of oil on board the vessel. Until recently, they had prevented experts from Yemen’s Ministry of Oil or the UN from accessing the FSO SAFER. Some Saudi experts have proposed moving the vessel to Bahrain for maintenance, however the Houthis have refused.  The Houthis are demanding a share of the oil revenues as a condition for allowing access to the vessel for maintenance work and unloading. However, on 10 June they allowed access to UN officials for an assessment. Without intervention for maintenance in the coming months, the vessel is likely to break or even explode, because of the lack of inert gas. Topping up the vessel with inert gas during maintenance is essential to avoid the vessel being in contact with hydrocarbon gases, which would cause a fire or explosion.

The possibility of a serious leakage or even explosion increases year on year due to continued lack of maintenance. Furthermore, even small accidents or fires on board have the potential to spiral out of control. If Hadi government experts attempt to approach the vessel, there is a risk of conflict on or near the vessel.

Sources: Debriefer 14/07/2019; Middle East Eye 17/06/2019; Reuters 01/05/2019; CEOBS 01/05/2019; Adenpress 09/05/2019; The National 09/05/2019; Atlantic Council 11/04/2019; UNOPS 2018.

Impact

The vessel contains an estimated 1.14 million barrels of crude oil. If an oil spill occurs, the environmental impact will be catastrophic, affecting people living in the coastal area of Yemen (est. 8.9 million) and the coastal regions of Eritrea (est. 517,200) (ACAPS projections based on IOM and Eritrea baseline population figures). In Yemen, the most affected area will likely be Al Hudaydah governorate as the FSO terminal is 50km northwest of al Hudaydah port.

An oil spill would certainly lead to the pollution of the Red Sea and eventually groundwater and soil contamination as the oil evaporates. This would change the entire ecosystem, and pollute the fishing and agricultural food chain. In addition, the shipping traffic in the Red Sea might be blocked for oil spill containment and cleanup. The most vulnerable are the inhabitants of the coastal region because they will be directly affected by pollution of waters and halt of imports of basic commodities. An explosion of the facility will also change the Red Sea marine environment, possibly reducing fishing yields for generations.

The vessel oil spill or explosion is likely to lead to the disruption of economic activities, such as fishing, one of the main livelihood activities for households living in the Red Sea coastal region of Yemen, as well as agriculture, and trade. This will further affect the already dire livelihood conditions of households in the region, reducing their income and ability to meet basic needs.

The closure of the area will also halt imports through Al Hudaydah ports. The majority of food (70% of all imports) and fuel (40-50% of all imports), as well as the majority of medicines and humanitarian aid, enter through Al Hudaydah ports. As Yemen is an import and aid dependent economy, a possible explosion of the vessel or oil spill will aggravate the food and health crisis in the country.

On top of the the potential environmental devastation and economic impact, an oil spill or explosion of the FSO SAFER will likely break the fragile ceasefire in Al Hudaydah established under Stockholm Agreement, and lead to possible escalation of conflict in the governorate, due to increased tensions between the Houthis and Hadi’s government

Sources: Environmental Pollution Centers 04/06/2019; Atlantic Council 11/04/2019; UNOPS 2018.

Read this risk

Key Priorities

24/05/2019

Food security: Nearly 5 million people are in Emergency (IPC-4) levels of food insecurity.?

Health: 19.7 million people in need of basic healthcare, including more than 14 million with acute needs.?

WASH: 17.8 million people in need of WASH assistance. Of those, 12.6 million are in acute need.?

Yemen Analysis Hub

31/05/2019

The ACAPS Yemen Analysis Hub provides inter-sectoral, forward-looking analysis to support a stronger evidence base for humanitarian decision making in Yemen. Learn more about the Yemen Analysis Hub.

If you are interested in the reports produced by the hub, please subscribe to the ACAPS Yemen mailing list.

Information Gaps and Needs

27/05/2019

More granular information is required to better understand the specific needs of vulnerable groups.?