Conflict in Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, and Aden increases humanitarian access constraints
Widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes persist in most areas of Yemen. Protracted conflict since 2015 continues to cause displacement, macroeconomic shocks, and severe livelihood disruptions. A risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5) persists under a worst-case scenario in which fighting significantly disrupts port operations or cuts off food supply for a prolonged period of time. Conflict epicenters, areas with a high number of IDPs, and areas that are highly dependent on imports from the ports of Hudaydah, Salif, and Aden, are most at risk of being affected.
Increased levels of conflict observed in Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, and Aden since August are expected to continue at current levels, further disrupting livelihoods and restricting food access in conflict epicenters. Clashes in the western governorates of Hajjah and Al Hudaydah – including around the key Red Sea Port of Hudaydah – have increased in frequency and severity in August and September. Meanwhile, fighting in Aden has been ongoing since clashes between Saudi- and UAE-backed forces broke out in August.
Recent escalation in fighting has led to additional displacements and restricted market access in affected areas. Additionally, key informants report that localized fuel shortages are beginning to manifest. As a result, increased transport costs are expected to drive further increases in already-high prices of food and essential non-food commodities. Limited purchasing power and rising prices are expected to worsen food insecurity outcomes among poor households in these areas.
Around seventeen million people in Yemen are in immediate need of humanitarian food assistance. While a record 12.4 million beneficiaries were reached with food assistance in August, pipeline breaks due to insufficient funding are likely to lead to partial ration cuts from October to December. Additionally, increased levels of conflict are expected to restrict humanitarian access in the worst affected areas of Hajjah, Al Hudaydah, Aden, and other conflict areas. This raises concerns that many Yemenis will begin to face increasing food consumption gaps, especially those who are heavily dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet household consumption needs.