Wed. Mar 29th, 2023

Context and impact of the crisis
After more than eight years of conflict, millions of people in Yemen are suffering from the compounded effects of armed violence, ongoing economic crisis and disrupted public services. In 2023, an estimated 21.6 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection services, a slight decrease from the 23.4 million people in need in 2022. This is largely due to technical changes in cluster-level needs assessments, as well as revised food security projections released in late 2022, rather than an overall improvement in the humanitarian outlook.
Following intense fighting in the first months of 2022, the political and conflict environment shifted significantly in April upon the transition of power to the Presidential Leadership Council and announcement of a UN-brokered truce. The subsequent six-month period, up to the truce’s expiry on 2 October, offered a glimpse of hope for many people. Civilian casualties and displacement decreased, a steady flow of fuel imports were received through Al Hodeidah port and commercial flights resumed through Sana’a International Airport. Despite these overarching benefits, localized clashes continued in some areas, including Ta’iz and Ad Dale’, and landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) posed heightened risks, especially in the context of increased civilian movement. Tensions have increased following the truce’s expiry, although no major military escalation or offensive has taken place. Despite extensive efforts, an agreement to extend the truce had not been reached as of end November.
The continued fragility of Yemen’s economy in 2022 exacerbated vulnerabilities among poor families, including as a result of depreciation of the Yemeni rial (YER), macroeconomic instability, the de facto separation of economic institutions and issuance of competing monetary policies and decreasing household purchasing power.
Being largely reliant on imported food and goods, Yemen is extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in global prices.
Throughout the course of the year, pressures on international supply chains stemming from the crisis in Ukraine has heightened global food insecurity and contributed to increased food prices in Yemeni markets. The Black Sea Grain Initiative provided for the resumption of some exports, easing pressures on global prices and supply chains, although uncertainties in the market remain.
Yemen’s public services and infrastructure have been severely impacted by the conflict, deteriorating economy and recurrent natural hazards. More than 80 per cent of the country’s population struggles to access food, safe drinking water and adequate health services, while nearly 90 per cent of the population has no access to publicly supplied electricity. Most public sector employees, including teachers and healthcare workers, have not received a regular salary in years—while this issue has formed part of discussions between the parties throughout 2022, little progress had been made by the end of the year.
Overall, some 17.7 million people are estimated to be in need of protection services in 2023. This includes people exposed to the risks associated with landmines and ERW, including unexploded ordnance (UXO). Legal and civil issues also perpetuate disadvantage and protection risks, such as the lack or loss of civil documentation, which undermines and prevents people from exercising their basic rights.
The humanitarian operating environment remains severely restricted. Bureaucratic impediments continue to delay and hinder the delivery of principled humanitarian assistance, and security incidents increased throughout the course of 2022, including carjackings, kidnappings and attacks on humanitarian personnel and infrastructure.
The humanitarian situation moving into 2023 remains bleak, and sustained humanitarian assistance is needed to prevent further deterioration of needs. In parallel, increased focus on collaboration between humanitarian, development and peace actors is key to delivering more sustainable solutions, including to rebuild Yemen’s fragile economy and diminished public services.
Scope of the analysis
This Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) covers all 333 districts of Yemen’s 22 governorates, with a particular focus on internally displaced people, the Muhamasheen community and people with disabilities. It also evaluates the needs of groups with additional vulnerabilities, including women and girls, asylum seekers, refugees, migrants and children.
For the third consecutive year, assessments of need in this HNO are informed by the enhanced global Humanitarian Planning Cycle (HPC) approach and the corresponding InterAgency Standing Committee (IASC) Joint Inter-sector Analysis Framework (JIAF) global guidance. A total of 22 intersectoral indicators were used to comprehensively measure the severity of needs in Yemen.
This HNO analysis estimates that 21.6 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2023. The main factors behind these figures are food insecurity, malnutrition, health, water and sanitation, and protection needs. This includes some 17.3 million people who are estimated to need food and agriculture assistance, 20.3 million people who need support to access critical health services and 15.3 million people who will require support to access clean water and meet basic sanitation needs. Some of the highest levels of vulnerability are concentrated in displacement hosting sites, where very few services are available. Across Yemen, protection needs remain extremely high as a result of the grim humanitarian outlook, which has led to the increased adoption of negative coping strategies.
Expected context evolution in 2023
In March 2023, the people of Yemen will enter their ninth year of conflict since its escalation in 2015. As of November 2022, the post-truce period remained relatively stable, without any major escalation in hostilities or military operations. However, increasing tensions and heightened rhetoric between the parties carries the potential for a resumption of armed violence. If this occurs, civilian casualties and displacement would likely increase, with host communities feeling the strain of even further stretched resources.
In the absence of country-wide mine clearance activities, landmines and ERW will continue to endanger lives, hinder movements, including returns to places of origin, and impede engagement in livelihood activities and access to basic services.
Without sustained support from international financial institutions, donors and development actors, ongoing macroeconomic instability will likely lead to the continued erosion of household purchasing power. This will erase any gains made in 2022 by limiting people’s access to food and other basic goods and drive already significant levels of need even higher. Without the restoration of essential public services and infrastructure, people will continue to be forced to contend with malnutrition, disease outbreaks, poor health outcomes and loss of opportunities.
Women and girls will continue to bear a disproportionate impact of the crisis, including compounded forms of violence. Further restrictions on their rights, including the widespread imposition of mahram (male guardian) requirements in areas controlled by Ansar Allah (AA, also known as the Houthi de facto authorities) over the course of 2022 could serve to worsen existing structural inequalities.
Protection needs are likely to remain high, including due to continued violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) and international human rights law (IHRL). Vulnerable and marginalized groups, such as internally displaced people, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants, people with disabilities and older persons, are also likely to see their vulnerabilities remain extremely high.
Continuing on the same trajectory as in 2022, access impediments, including bureaucratic restrictions and other constraints, are set to continue to significantly impact aid delivery, especially in AA-controlled areas. Protecting humanitarian space will require sustained and collective advocacy over the course of 2023.
Yemen’s vulnerability to climate change will likely be palpable again in 2023. Natural disasters such as severe seasonal flooding and droughts will disrupt livelihoods and services, force families to leave their homes and increase existing vulnerabilities. 
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