• 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

  • 29,696,000 People affected [?]
  • 5,108,000 People displaced [?]
  • 24,100,000 People in Need [?]

Overview

24/05/2019

Long-standing 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 was forced to resign, 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).?

Some 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.?Approximately 2,500 suspected cases are reported daily and 21 out of 23 governorates are affected. 17.8 million people lack access to WASH services, including 12.6 million acutely in need, exacerbating the situation.?Fighting constrains 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.?The UN brokered ceasefire has reduced violence in Al Hudaydah but increased it in other locations. Around 3.34 million people are internally displaced, dispersed across all 22 governorates; the majority having been displaced since March 2015.?Migrants and refugees, mostly from Ethiopia, continue to arrive in southern Yemen, where reports show that authorities have arbitrarily detained migrants in informal detention centres with little to no services. The situation is dire with poor sanitation and health conditions.?

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

Latest Developments

12/06/2019

11/06: Intense rains in recent weeks have led to flash flooding in over 10 governorates affecting nearly 70,000 people (including some 18,000 IDPs) and caused multiple casualties. The 22 May Stadium, where about 3,000 migrants are detained has also flooded. As most districts are already affected by cholera, flooding is very likely to intensify the spread of the disease. There is an immediate need for emergency shelter, food and NFIs. Limited access, due to flooded roads and limited authorisations, is hampering the identification of affected people. ?

31/05: Over 344,000 suspected cholera cases and 621 deaths (CFR 0.18%) have been reported since the start of 2019 and 295 out of 333 districts are affected. The number of new cases has begun to fall, although it is too early to conclude a downward trend. The decline may be attributed to an enhancement in community engagement and WASH activities, scaling up of response and the first round of the oral cholera vaccine campaign. 17.8 million people currently lack access to WASH services, exacerbating the situation. Fighting continues to constrain access to affected areas and the rainy season is likely to accelerate the spread of the disease.?

Humanitarian Access

24/05/2019

EXTREME CONSTRAINTS

Insecurity, administrative constraints, entry restrictions, violence against humanitarian workers, and obstruction of civilian mobility hamper access. 6.5 million people live in hard-to-reach areas.?Fighting exacerbates access challenges, particularly in the heavily populated western coastal areas. High fuel prices limit transportation of aid, the mobility of affected populations and increase the price of commodities. Checkpoints, landmines and explosive remnants of war, damaged roads, and difficult terrain hinder movement. Armed actors have attempted to block aid from reaching groups suspected of disloyalty, directing it to groups more supportive of their agenda or selling it on the black market. Despite the blockade lifting in 2018, impediments to imports and aid, enforced by belligerent parties, hampers aid delivery. Access to basic goods may decrease if the UN brokered ceasefire fails and fighting resumes over the strategic Al Hudaydah port. The UN brokered ceasefire in December 2018 reduced violence around the port, but fighting increased elsewhere, including Hajjah and Al Dhale’e.?

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Breakdown in the peace process leads to escalation of conflict in Al Hudaydah, exacerbating food insecurity and increasing the spread of cholera

Latest update: 21/06/2019

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

Increased mistrust in the peace process by Hadi government and intense fighting between Houthi and pro-Hadi forces in the rest of Yemen is likely to lead to breakdown of the Stockholm Agreement and fragile ceasefire in place in Al Hudaydah since 2018. This will likely lead to escalation of conflict in Al Hudaydah. ? Houthi forces withdrew from Al Hudaydah ports over 10-14 May, and the UAE and Saudi Arabia, who back the Yemeni government, have continued to be party to the peace process, indicating a willingness to avoid a military escalation. However, government forces complain the Houthi have handed the ports to a local Coast Guard that is actually under Houthi influence. In addition, while a fragile ceasefire remains in place in Al Hudaydah, intense fighting between Houthi and pro-Hadi forces and retaliation airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition are ongoing in the rest of Yemen.? In this climate an offensive by the pro-Hadi forces in Al Hudaydah and a battle over the control of the ports and city cannot be excluded.?

IMPACT
Breakdown in the peace process and conflict over Al Hudaydah ports would likely result in increased food insecurity for at least 7.5 million people, and also worsen the cholera crisis across Yemen.? Around 70% of monthly food imports and 40-50% of fuel imports enter Yemen through Saleef and Al Hudaydah ports (Al Hudaydah governorate).? Fighting around the ports and in Al Hudaydah city is highly likely to result in the ports’ closure, disruption of the market-supply chain, and limited access to aid.? Closure of ports would halt these fuel, medicine, and food imports. Road blockades, access restrictions, and insecurity would hamper access to imported essential commodities normally distributed from Al Hudaydah to the rest of Yemen. Since May 2019, fighting, bureaucratic constraints, and checkpoints have already severely disrupted the distribution networks in the rest of Yemen.? Closure of the Al Hudaydah ports will only exacerbate this situation. Increased fighting in Al Hudaydah is also likely to add to fuel shortages. Fuelis essential to run health facilities and for pumping and trucking of water.Inability to access water and health facilities due to fuel shortagesincreases the risk of spread of AWD and cholera.? On 9 June, the total number of suspected cholera cases across the countrywas 759,464, with 1,163 associated deaths (CFR 0.15%). The northwesterngovernorates of Amanat Al Asimah, Sana’a, and Al Hudaydah are the mostaffected.?

This risk was identified in the June Quarterly Risk Report

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Heightened tensions between Iran and US and their allies spark conflict between regional proxies in the Middle East leading to new humanitarian needs in the region

Latest update: 23/06/2019

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

A series of events have raised fears of an escalation of proxy conflict between the US, Iran and their allies in the Middle East. Countries particularly at risk of being affected are Iraq and Yemen as well as, to a smaller extent, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iran itself.

Attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf in recent weeks have provoked threatening rhetoric between the US and Iran.? The US blamed the incidents on Iran and deployed 2,500 troops, an aircraft carrier and bomber planes to the Middle East to counter “Iranian threats”. ? The US also recently tightened economic sanctions on Iran and labelled the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Iran’s elite military force, as a “foreign terrorist organisation”. ?  Iran denied involvement in the attacks but stated it will retaliate against aggression towards its interests.? The Special Forces unit of the IRGC reportedly called on allied militias to prepare for a proxy conflict.?

Relations between Iran and the US have deteriorated significantly over the last year since the Trump administration withdrew from a nuclear deal between Iran and seven world powers, including the US and EU.? Iran recently stopped complying with parts of the nuclear agreement in attempt to bargain European support against the sanctions, fueling existing tensions. ?

Neither country is interested in direct military confrontation. The US may be increasing economic and military pressure to suppress Iran’s growing regional influence and to leverage a new nuclear agreement, more aligned to its own terms. However, lack of diplomacy amid heightened tensions may result in a miscalculation possibly leading to an accidental escalation of conflict. Conflict would most likely remain small-scale and concentrated in areas with a large presence of Iranian proxies.

Iraq and Yemen are the most vulnerable to an escalation. In Iraq, the US and Iran have been vying for influence following the defeat of the Islamic State. Iraq has a large presence of Iran-backed Shia militias and the US has some 5,000 troops stationed in the country, raising the risk of a local confrontation. Regional actors are often trying to frame Yemen's conflict, which is predominantly based on local grievances, as part of the broader Saudi-Iranian rivalry. A recent upsurge in attacks from the Iran-backed Houthis on targets in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates have raised tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia, increasing the risk of retaliatory attacks and escalation in Yemen.

Impact 

An escalation of proxy-conflict between the US and Iran and their allies in the Middle East could potentially have a far-reaching impact. However, more likely, the impact would remain localised and mainly affect areas with large presence of Iranian proxies.

A conflict between US forces and Iranian proxies in Iraq would impact a population already fatigued by war. Some 6.7 million people are in need of assistance. Particularly vulnerable are the 1.7 million IDP’s and 4.2 million IDP returnees in Iraq. New conflict would likely exacerbate their needs and trigger new internal displacement. Past conflict and political instability have strained basic health and WASH services. An outbreak of violence between the US and Iranian backed militias could disrupt gas, electricity and food supplies as Iraq heavily relies on imports from Iran. ?

In case of an escalation of conflict in Yemen, existing humanitarian needs, including food security, health and WASH would likely worsen. Retaliatory attacks would likely cause an increase in civilian casualties. In the past Saudi Arabia, which has warships positioned in the red sea and the Gulf of Aden, has blocked imports of goods, including aid supplies. An escalation could trigger a new naval blockade hindering humanitarian access. 

Involvement in an escalation of proxy conflict would further harm Iran’s economy. Large parts of Iran were hit by flash floods in April and March affecting over 40 million people, 2 million of who remain in need of assistance. Increased needs and growing political and socio-economic frustrations among the population could lead to a new wave of protests if Iran were to engage in a new conflict. ?

This risk was identified in the June Quarterly Risk Report.

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Key Priorities

24/05/2019

Food security: 238,000 people in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe) food insecurity levels, indicative of extreme food gaps, and significant mortality due to outright starvation or the combination of acute malnutrition and disease.?

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.?