Geneva - The figures released by international and UN organisations regarding the humanitarian crisis in Yemen do not reflect the true extent of the daily suffering of the population in their desperate attempts to put food on their tables during the month of Ramadan.

About seven out of every ten people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance to survive, at a time when more than 80 percent of the population face severe difficulties in providing food.

The malnutrition rates in Yemen remain among the highest in the world, with over half of the population, totaling 33.7 million people, experiencing severe food insecurity. However, the greatest burden of this humanitarian crisis falls on children, with around 600,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, which includes a sharp decline in weight and/or height, posing a life-threatening risk unless urgently addressed.  

   I struggle to rely on myself by selling used clothes on the streets, but demand is very low because people cannot afford to buy. My family and I remain primarily dependent on aid to stay alive   

Saleh Al-Dahmi (49 years old), a resident of Aden

 

At the same time, about 3 out of every 10 school-age children are unable to attend school due to complex reasons, including poverty, displacement, and overcrowded classrooms resulting from the reduction in the number of schools fit for study due to war or their use as military barracks.

According to the World Food Programme, 3.5 million people are suffering from severe malnutrition, with aid suspended in northern Yemen since last January due to funding shortages.

Saleh Al-Dahmi (49 years old), a resident of Aden, told Euro-Med Human Rights Monitor that he struggles to provide food for his family of seven, especially amidst the lack of stable work and while receiving members of his extended family who have been displaced from their homes. Al-Dahmi told the Euro-Med Monitor team, "I used to work as a driver on a car I bought on installments and with great effort. But the car was completely burnt during the war, and I remained without work for months, during which my family and I relied on the scarce humanitarian aid we received. Today, I struggle to rely on myself by selling used clothes on the streets, but demand is very low because people cannot afford to buy. My family and I remain primarily dependent on aid to stay alive."

According to UNICEF, about 16 million people, more than half of them children, urgently need access to clean water, or else they are at risk of waterborne diseases and malnutrition.

Despite the cessation of military operations, security problems in the country persist, with thefts, assaults, and acts of violence remaining widespread in the city of Aden in the semi-absence of local institutions, leaving Yemenis without authorities to turn to when they fall victim to such crimes. In Taiz city, violence and assaults on public and private properties are on the rise, with small arms readily available in commercial shops and openly sold.

The economic deterioration resulting from the war and the consequent destruction of civilian infrastructure and the lack of basic public services are among the main causes of the humanitarian crisis in the country.

Moreover, the attacks of countries led by the United States of America –in some cases against civilians and civilian objects- exacerbates the humanitarian crisis and constitutes a violation of international humanitarian law that prohibits such targeting.

Euro-Med Monitor thus calls on the parties to the conflict to adhere to international humanitarian law and to refrain from targeting civilians and civilian objects, urging the international community to work on providing humanitarian assistance, protection, and resuming the necessary financial support to UN agencies involved in addressing the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen.