Yemen: IOM seeks funding to help five million people as situation in Ma’rib deteriorates



As the conflict in Yemen enters its seventh year, the crisis remains the world’s most serious and continues to put millions of lives at risk. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today launched an appeal to assist more than five million people affected by the crisis in Yemen as part of the High-Level Virtual Conference for Pledges in Yemen. Yemen.

With more than 10,500 people having recently fled areas of Ma’rib, where fighting has intensified in recent weeks, IOM will devote at least a third of the requested funds to life-saving assistance to displaced people, migrants and to local communities affected by the crisis. Ma’rib crisis.

In a situation characterized by escalating conflict and displacement, a declining economy and the collapse of public institutions, the people of Yemen are expected to experience alarming levels of acute malnutrition and food insecurity throughout this period. year. Today, governments around the world will come together to reaffirm their commitment to Yemen and pledge financial contributions to the humanitarian response.

“IOM, alongside our humanitarian partners, is concerned about the severe impact that protracted funding shortages will have on the ability of internally displaced people, migrants and other vulnerable populations to survive impending famine, pandemic and escalation of conflict, ”said António Vitorino, IOM Director General at the Pledges Conference, co-hosted by the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland.

“The already enormous needs in Yemen have been compounded by the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 and the re-escalation of the conflict in Ma’rib, which has led to the displacement of the most vulnerable families,” added Vitorino.

The UN estimates that around four million people are currently displaced in Yemen and that most of the displaced do not have sufficient access to safe shelter, clean water or health care.

Much of the displaced live in Ma’rib governorate, where recent escalations in hostilities mainly affect those already displaced. At least three displacement sites have been emptied after being directly affected by the fighting and a majority of families are displaced for the third time or more.

“UN data for 2021 shows record levels of acute food insecurity, raising major concerns about the impact of hunger on particularly vulnerable groups, especially internally displaced people and migrants, many of whom remain stranded in Yemen with limited access to assistance or resources, ”Vitorino added.

Despite the reduction in the number of migrants arriving in Yemen in 2020 – to more than 37,500 from 138,000 in 2019 – the dangers facing migrants have increased. Thousands of migrants are stranded across the country, unable to continue their journey or return home. Most sleep rough with virtually no access to clean water, food or health care. They are also at risk of abuse, exploitation and detention.

In 2020, IOM stepped up its assistance to migrants stranded in Yemen, while advocating for the resumption of its voluntary humanitarian return program in Ethiopia, as an immediate life-saving measure.

“With over 24 million people still in need of some form of assistance, more resources are needed to effectively meet growing and complex needs. Funding shortages had real consequences in 2020, which were particularly felt in cities like Aden and Ma’rib, which host thousands of migrants and displaced people in urgent need of support and with already limited access to services. services, ”said Vitorino.

“While an immediate humanitarian response remains essential in Yemen, IOM continues to advocate for a lasting peaceful resolution to the conflict. It is most urgent in Ma’rib governorate, where fighting continues to exacerbate needs on the ground, putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people at risk. “

IOM is appealing for USD 170 million to support more than 5.1 million people across the country, including internally displaced people, migrants and the communities that host them, by the end of 2021. Activities are implemented in the following sectors: health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter and non-food items (S-NFI), camp coordination and management (CCCM), transition and recovery, protection, assistance to migrants as well as coordination and security (IOM’s displacement monitoring matrix) and humanitarian services (humanitarian hub).

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