Yemen has been in crisis since 2015, with conflict and continued political and economic disruptions resulting in increased levels of poverty as well as large-scale displacement.
High levels of malnutrition and recurrent cholera and dengue fever outbreaks across the country put strain on the already overstretched the health care system, which are only able to provide half of the currently required capacity. With the arrival of COVID-19, it is expected that the health situation in the country will worsen, as this situation will disproportionately affect vulnerable groups, including those who already live in poverty.
One of the driving underlying factors of disease outbreaks and high malnutrition rates is a lack of access to clean and safe water, improved latrines, adequate environmental sanitation, and soap.
In 2019, it was estimated that over half of the population (55%) did not have access to safe and clean water, and that almost half (45%) did not have access to soap due to economic reasons. The 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Needs Overview estimated that over two thirds of Yemenis were in need of Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)-related assistance, with 12.6 million of those in acute need of support.
Due to a lack of comprehensive, nationwide WASH needs assessment data, the Yemen WASH Cluster (YWC) initiated this Secondary Desk Review (SDR) to collate existing information related to WASH needs in Yemen. The main objective of the SDR is to better understand the severity of WASH needs across the country, as well as the underlying causes of these needs, in order to inform appropriate response planning and resource mobilization.
Findings will also be used to inform the calculation of the WASH People in Need (PIN) and district severity score figures for 2020. This SDR was conducted jointly by REACH and the YWC in collaboration with ACAPS.
In order to analyse the severity of WASH needs, the following four steps were undertaken. Further details about the Methodology can be found in the Methodology section of this report, as well as in Annex 1.