Yemen Faces Dire Humanitarian Crisis as Funding Cuts and Escalation Threaten Peace

Image credit, NRC

As Yemen enters its tenth year of conflict, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) issues a stark warning, highlighting the devastating impact of funding cuts and escalating violence on the country’s prospects for peace and recovery. Protracted displacement, extreme poverty, and dwindling humanitarian assistance paint a grim picture for millions of Yemenis, with over half of the population – 18 million people – still in dire need of aid.

The NRC’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Angelita Caredda, condemned the situation, stating, “The people of Yemen have endured untold hardship for far too long. It is unacceptable that millions of innocent lives continue to hang in the balance due to the escalation of conflict in the region and the reduction of funding at this critical time.”

Despite a truce agreed upon almost two years ago, hopes for peace remain fragile as tensions rise and military strikes intensify. The NRC emphasizes that lasting ceasefire agreements cannot materialize without urgent de-escalation efforts and a halt to military actions across Yemen.

One of the most pressing concerns is the drastic underfunding of humanitarian efforts. The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen saw less than 40% of required funding, the lowest since the conflict began. This trend persists, with over 90% of necessary humanitarian funding still unmet this year.

“Funding cuts, particularly for food assistance, have resulted in families not having enough to eat, including during Ramadan,” Caredda stated. Families are resorting to desperate measures, selling belongings and borrowing to secure food. Displaced mother Huda, a mother of seven, lamented the situation, saying, “We currently don’t have enough food for the entire family. If we received food baskets like before, we wouldn’t need anyone else’s assistance.”

The NRC calls on donors to urgently increase support, especially for nutrition, health, and cash assistance programs. “We remain committed to supporting the most vulnerable people in Yemen, but the international community and all parties must push for de-escalation and commit to supporting a neglected population grappling with hunger and displacement,” Caredda emphasized.

As the conflict enters its tenth year, the plight of Yemeni civilians continues to worsen. With millions facing hunger, displacement, and violence, immediate action is imperative to alleviate suffering and pave the way for lasting peace in the region.