Over the past year, the humanitarian operation in Yemen has undergone a step-change, becoming the largest operations worldwide. This review presents the achievements of the humanitarian community against the objectives and targets of the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) and the evolving humanitarian situation in Yemen.
It builds on monitoring information collected every month and an end-of-year analysis of humanitarian needs and priorities. Complementary information is available at: Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan and Response Monitoring Dashboard
ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2018
During 2018, working under increasingly difficult conditions, 254 international and national partners delivered food assistance, health care, nutrition support, protection, shelter, education, water and sanitation and livelihood support. Major achievements are summarized below:
Humanitarian partners managed one of the largest, fastest and most difficult scale-ups of food assistance. The number of people provided with food and livelihood assistance each month increased from 5.9 million to 7.5 million, a 27 per cent increase. As a result, the food and nutrition situation has improved in more than half of the 107 districts at-risk of famine, and as of today one-fifth are no longer at risk of famine.
Millions of destitute families benefited from direct support including agricultural, livestock and fisheries assistance to improve their livelihoods. FSAC partners reached a total of 2.26 million people and 160,000 people were provided with longer-term livelihoods support. Similarly, Emergency Employment and Community Rehabilitation (EECR) Cluster partners reached a total of 331,912 people, with emergency employment opportunities in 102 districts in 19 governorates. This represents a 14 per cent increase from 2017, when 290,000 people were reached by the cluster.
6.03 million people received nutrition support. This represents a 255 per cent increase from 2017, when 1.7 million people received nutrition support. The nutrition operation expanded considerably in 2018 and a higher percentage of ill and malnourished children are surviving in Yemen than at any time since the conflict started. The number of children treated for SAM increased by 31 per cent, up from 263,313 in 2017 to 345,661 in 2018. Similarly, the number of children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) admitted to Therapeutic Supplementary Feeding programmes (TSFP) supported by partners increased by 58 per cent from 360,163 in 2017 to 568,332 by the end of 2018. In addition, a total of 413,277 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) were admitted to TSFPs.
The largest cholera outbreak in modern history was contained. Health and WASH partners, working closely with local institutions, dramatically reduced the number of suspected cholera cases between from 1.5 million in 2017 to 311,000 before 2018 year-end, through improving the efficiency of responsible modalities, including of WASH and Health Rapid Response Teams, as well as targeted high impact community level interventions to prevent onward transmission. This represents a 79 per cent decrease in suspected cholera cases from 2017 to 2018.
Millions of people were reached with safe drinking water and sanitation support thanks to the considerable scale up of WASH service provision and rapid response teams (RRTs). WASH cluster partners reached an estimated 11.5 million people, compared with 8.9 million in 2017, representing a 29 per cent increase in people reached. WASH cluster partners also addressed increasing emergency needs including the cholera epidemic, displacement and the risk of famine as well as sustaining essential infrastructure. This involved restoring and repairing water and sanitation systems such as water treatment units and sewage disposal sites.
Millions of ill and suffering Yemenis were being treated at health facilities throughout the country. Health Cluster partners worked through more than 2,200 health facilities, provided over 12 million consultations, delivered 16,616 mental health consultations, and treated 36,491 trauma cases. Skilled birth attendants assisted 255,172 deliveries and more than a million women received antenatal and postnatal care. More than 488,000 surgeries were performed. Vaccination campaigns for diphtheria, measles, rubella and polio reached 13.2 million people. Overall, the Cluster reached 12 million people in 2018, compared with 8.6 million people reached in 2017, representing an increase of 40 per cent.
1.4 million people received Shelter/NFI/CCCM Support. The Shelter/NFI/CCCM Cluster assisted 1.4 million people, despite limited funding and operational challenges. This represents a 56 per cent increase in people reached compared to 2017, when the cluster assisted 0.9 million people. Implementation improved from the third quarter when additional funding became available.
More than 4 million people received protection services. During the year the Protection Cluster, including Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence (GBV) Sub-Clusters, reached 4.8 million people, despite serious operational constraints. This represents a 109 per cent increase from 2017, when the cluster reached 2.3 million people. The assistance included psychosocial support, mine risk awareness, assistance with civil documentation,, legal services and comprehensive case management services for children and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
Although nearly 25 per cent of all students remain out of school, millions of children are able to learn because of the support provided by humanitarian partners. Education Cluster partners delivered education services to 1.8 million students. The Cluster reached 429,640 children with school meals. People reached increased by 80 per cent, from 1 million in 2017 to 1.8 million in 2018.
The response to displacement improved with the establishment of a Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) to assist people in the immediate aftermath of a crisis. An RRM for newly displaced families was introduced in 2018 in response to escalation of hostilities in Al Hudaydah. Some 680,000 newly displaced people received emergency assistance within days, and sometimes within hours of their displacement, following the launch of RRM. Hundreds of humanitarian staff, remained in Al Hudaydah despite conflict and bombardment, helping to keep the port open, and storing, loading and dispatching nearly half of million metric tons (MT) of wheat to districts across the country.
Overall, despite an increasingly difficult operating environment, the structure and the functioning of the humanitarian operation has improved. The humanitarian operation is better run, better monitored and more efficient. For the first time, partners developed a comprehensive contingency plan and pre-positioned emergency supplies in hubs near areas where mass displacement is expected. An Emergency Concept of Operations plan, detailing assessments and targeting and monitoring protocols, was developed for Al Hudaydah, which contributed to a more principled response even at the height of the fighting.