Crisis Severity The severity score from 1 to 5 is based on 31 indicators aggregated into 3 pillars (impact, conditions, and complexity)4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Impact This measures the impact of the crisis itself, in terms of the scope of its geographical, and human effects.4.70 Very lowVery high 5
Humanitarian Conditions This measures the conditions and status of the people affected, including info about the distribution of severity.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Complexity This measures the complexity of the crisis, in terms of factors that affect its mitigation or resolution.4.50 Very lowVery high 5
Access Constraints This measures the level of humanitarian access constraints.5.0No constraintsExtreme constraints
Yemen CrisisInSight: Trends in 2019 & Outlook into 2020
Yemen: State narratives, social perceptions & health behavio...
Yemen: Heavy rains and flash floods
COVID-19 Impact on Yemen Update
Yemen: Risk Overview
Volatility of the the Yemeni Riyal: drivers and impact
Yemen Analysis Ecosystem
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.?
COVID-19 is likely to be aggressively spreading through community level transmission in Yemen, despite low number of officially reported cases. Authorities in the north have been accused of covering up positive tests in an attempt to deflect blame for the spread of the virus onto outsiders. Many Yemenis from Houthi-controlled territories are reportedly afraid to seek medical attention, with rumours circulating that the de facto authorities are euthanising people with COVID 19 symptoms.
Alarmingly increased mortality rate was reported since early May in Aden city with over 800 deaths from symptoms resembling COVID-19. Heavy rains and flash floods affected Aden in mid-April leading to an increase in mosquito borne diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, and malaria. There is a concern that people experiencing multiple diseases are not tested for COVID-19.Between 10 April and 20 May 184 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 10 governorates across Yemen including 30 deaths. ?
ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information related to COVID-19 in Yemen, see content below.
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.
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread globally and international travel reduces, the virus continues to spread to neighbouring countries. Despite precautions by national authorities and WHO to minimise the risk of virus transmission, identification of an infected person already in Yemen, fails to self-isolate effectively and infects others. Due to a lack of test kits and fear of reporting, the virus spreads to many others before the authorities realise it is in country. Before long, crisis-affected vulnerable populations become infected. The virus spreads rapidly due to poor living conditions, high population density and poor hygiene practice. The close proximity of dwellings, insufficient hygiene products and clean water access, and lack of public awareness continue to spread the virus to vulnerable people groups in Yemen.
- Confirmed cases increase surrounding countries
- Confirmed cases increase among humanitarian staff connected to Yemen
- Confirmed case in Yemen
- Insufficient test kits in Yemen
- Insufficient hygiene items
- Water prices rise
- Continued air travel into Yemen
- Lack of purchasing power among households to buy hygiene kits
- Poor health infrastructure
COVID-19 spreads rapidly through the population. A proportion of cases are hospitalised as hospitals struggle to implement sufficient protective measures for COVID-19 treatment wards. Within a month, many deaths are reported and increasingly stringent movement restrictions begin to be observed, but the number of infections and deaths continues to rise sharply. Death rates are higher than the global average due to the underlying poor health conditions, lowered immunity among malnourished population, and limited medical resilience in the general population.
COVID-19 is likely to be aggressively spreading through community level transmission in Yemen. Based on transmission patterns of the virus in other countries the UN has warned that the virus has likely been circulating undetected and unmitigated within many communities in Yemen.
As of 20 May, Yemen officially reported 184 cases and 30 deaths from COVID-19 including in: Aden (90 cases, 5 deaths), Lahj (21 cases, 8 deaths), Taiz (17 cases, 3 death), Ad Dhali (5 cases) Hadramawt (39 cases, 13 deaths), Marib (2 case), Abyan (2 case), Al Mahrah (1 case), Shabwah (3 cases, 1 death). Houthi authorities reported four cases, including one death, in Sana'a city. Reports from inside the country suggest that the number of cases in northern Yemen are being seriously under reported. Authorities in the north have been accused of covering up positive tests, except for cases among migrants, and people coming from southerners Yemen, in an attempt to deflect blame for the spread of the virus onto outsiders. Many Yemenis in the north are reportedly afraid to report symptoms, with rumours circulating in the community that the northern authorities are euthanising people with COVID 19 symptoms.
Aden city is reported to have the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases. Increased mortality has been reported since early May in Aden city. Since early May, an estimated 800 people died in Aden with symptoms similar to COVID-19. The full caseload is likely being under reported due to challenges with testing and reporting in Yemen's divided capital which is currently battling several disease outbreaks. The city witnessed heavy rains and flash floods in mid-April causing an increase in mosquito borne diseases like chikungunya, dengue fever, and malaria. There's a concern that people experiencing multiple diseases are not tested for COVID-19 once they are diagnosed with another sickness.
Both the internationally recognised Government of Yemen (GoY) and the Houthis have imposed measures to control the disease. Movement between governorates was severely restricted for people and goods, except fuel and food imports. Both authorities announced restrictions including the closure of markets, shops, restaurants, and mosques. The authorities announced a partial curfew in Sana'a on all markets starting from 6:00pm to 6:00 am. Reports indicate that people are not following restrictions which increases the risk of spreading the virus.
WHO may be forced to cut back on incentive payments for some health workers due to funding shortages. Humanitarian actors are concerned about protection issues and xenophobia against people associated with COVID-19 transmission like migrants, refugees, Yemenis moving between southern and northern governorates and Yemenis returning from Saudi Arabia.
COVID-19 could have a major impact on Yemen. Health infrastructure has been eroded by five years of war and the country is already battling major disease outbreaks including cholera and dengue fever. Delays of delivery of COVID-19 supplies have been reported, particularly of cargo arriving to northern governorates. ??
Yemen Analysis Hub
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
More granular information is required to better understand the specific needs of vulnerable groups.?