We are pleased to present the 2021 Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF) Annual Report. The report provides a detailed overview of YHF expenditure, management and accountability. It shows how the Fund helped to address the needs of the most vulnerable people in Yemen, which remains one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.
Twenty-five donors generously contributed over US$96 million to the Fund in 2021, making it one of the largest OCHA-managed country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) in the world. The funding made it possible to allocate more than $109 million to support almost 5.8 million people in need through 106 projects implemented by 51 partners across 21 governorates in Yemen.
Humanitarian needs continued to deepen in 2021, driven by escalating conflict and a spiraling economic crisis. The situation was made worse by torrential rains and flooding, a protracted fuel crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The YHF was central to an efficient and well-coordinated, multi-cluster humanitarian response and a catalyst for change. The Fund helped sustain life-saving basic services and supported the delivery of food, nutrition assistance, protection and other critical supplies to millions of destitute people. The Fund focused on the most vulnerable people, including minority groups and persons with disabilities. It strived to leave no one behind. The Fund’s flexibility enabled it to quickly inject funding to support the response to new displacement in Ma’rib Governorate, provide fuel to critical health services and water networks, and sustain common humanitarian emergency services such as UNHAS.
The YHF support was complemented by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), which mobilized resources to meet priority needs. The two Funds provided $149 million for life-saving assistance in 2021. For instance, in May, a CERF rapid response allocation of nearly $40 million supported UN agencies and partners’ response to large-scale displacement and worsening living conditions of displaced populations in Al Jawf and Marib Governorates.
It enabled the immediate scale-up of the response capacity by providing air transport and logistics support for humanitarian partners and delivering life-saving, multisectoral services. This was complemented by the first YHF allocation of $50.4 million in June, which supported life-saving shelter and NFI assistance, the provision of rental subsidies for vulnerable displaced people and minority groups, and gender-based violence prevention and response interventions in the two governorates. The YHF continued implementing an area-based and integrated response, focusing on multi-cluster interventions in Tai’z, Al Hodeidah and Ma’rib Governorates. This approach has strengthened planning and complementarity among clusters and partners who joined up forces to maximize the impact of their interventions. These three governorates, which combine multiple levels of vulnerabilities, received $103 million out of the joint $149 million allocated by YHF and CERF.
In 2022, the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) requires $4.27 billion to reverse a steady deterioration of the humanitarian situation. It targets 17.3 million out of the 23.4 million people - or almost three-quarters of Yemen’s population - in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection services. A record 19 million people are projected to require food assistance in the second half of the year with vulnerable population groups such as women, children, displaced people and persons with disabilities being the hardest hit. Extremely worrying projections indicate that the number of people experiencing catastrophic levels of hunger could increase five-fold, from currently 31,000 to 161,000 people over the second half of 2022 unless immediate action is taken, and funding provided to avert the imminent disaster.
The YHF will continue to be a fast, lean and flexible funding mechanism for front-line partners, used strategically to mitigate the effects of the crisis. It will remain a strong supporter of localization and strategically allocate funds based on its comparative advantage. But to do so, the YHF must receive donor funding in 2022 that is commensurate with the scale of needs in Yemen, enabling it to continue delivering its unique mandate.
As Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, I would like to thank all YHF donors, the Advisory Board, Cluster Coordinators, national and international NGO partners, Red Crescent Society partners as well as UN agencies, funds and programmes for their tremendous efforts in enabling YHF to continue its critical work to save lives and alleviate the suffering of millions of people in need in Yemen.
William David Gressly
United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Yemen