The price tag on this year's Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan is $2.96 billion, an increase of 80 per cent since 2016. Three years of war in Yemen have systematically destroyed social safety nets and pushed millions of people towards aid dependency.
Three quarters of Yemen's population – more than 22 million people – now need some form of humanitarian assistance or protection, but ongoing measures that restrict the movement of humanitarian actors mean that almost half of them live in areas that are difficult to reach with aid.
"More and more people need assistance that is becoming harder and harder to deliver," said Norwegian Refugee Council Secretary General Jan Egeland. "We need more than money alone, we need help to ensure we can deliver critical aid where it is needed most. Above all, we need to see an end to the duplicity of nations trading in arms and bombs being used on Yemeni civilians while pledging money in an attempt to keep them alive."
The brutal conflict in #Yemen has forced thousands of families to flee their homes & leave everything behind.— UNOCHA (@UNOCHA) March 31, 2018
They desperately need:
This is how the Yemen Humanitarian Fund helps them survive the harsh winter ➡️https://t.co/pctTuA84HM pic.twitter.com/JTSZxMxJNr
In addition to challenges reaching people in need, humanitarian actors are grappling with the impact of collapsing public services and a crumbling economy, which have led to world's largest cholera outbreak in decades that is now threatening to return with the impending rainy season expected to start this month.
1.2 million public servants in Yemen have not been paid their usual salaries since August 2016, leaving more than half the population without access to basic healthcare, education, safe water or sanitation.
The break down in services has corresponded with dramatic, widespread inflation on the price of basic commodities, caused in part by measures that block and restrict movement through Yemen's main ports. The imposition of a full blockade on Hodeida Port in November 2017 set off dramatic inflation that has continued since, despite the resumption of imports.
"On the one hand we have authorities denying people access to basic services, and on the other we have their opponents denying them access to basic goods they can't afford," said Egeland, who will speak on a panel on humanitarian access at tomorrow's event.
The combined impact of impeded access, eroding public services and obstructions at Yemen's ports is shifting undue pressure onto a humanitarian response overwhelmed with the scale of need.
"The world has a responsibility to the people of Yemen and must pledge generously to this humanitarian response," Egeland said. "But the international community can and must offer more than just money: Yemen needs steps that keep ports open, restore public services and make humanitarian access possible. Only with conscious leadership will we stop this manmade catastrophe in Yemen."