Photo: Khaled Al-Banna/NRC
As the world’s worst humanitarian crisis enters its seventh year, another 672,000 people could be displaced by the end of 2021 if current levels of violence continue, according to United Nations predictions. 834 civilian houses have already been hit by armed violence so far this year.
“Yemenis have endured six years of empty promises from world leaders, many of whom continue to fan the flames of this war. Decisive action is needed now to cease the relentless countdown towards an entirely preventable famine,” said Jan Egeland, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). “Yemenis need three things to reverse this nightmare: a famine-prevention ceasefire, a doubling of aid and the resumption of peace talks.”
Six years of war has had devastating impact on Yemen’s people, economy and development, setting back the country’s human development by 21 years and robbing a generation of their future. If the conflict continues, Yemenis already facing humanitarian crisis of extreme proportions can only expect their situation to deteriorate further.
As the country enters a seventh year of conflict, NRC is warning that Yemen is sliding back into full-scale war with flare ups in Marib, Hodeidah, Taiz and Hajjah leading to displacements, mass civilian casualties and continued attacks on homes, farms, hospitals and schools.
“Before the war, we used to enjoy a comfortable life and had three meals a day. How could I have stayed when there were bullets over our heads all the time? It is a frontline,” said Ali Ali Ayyash, a displaced father from Hodeidah.
By 2019, the armed conflict had killed nearly a quarter of a million people either directly as a result of hostilities, or indirectly due to inadequate supplies of food, healthcare and infrastructure, according to independent analysis. In 2020 alone, an estimated 2,087 civilians were killed or injured, with an increased proportion of these being women and children.
“When I visited Yemen earlier this month, I was shocked to my core by how inhumane the situation had become after six long years of war. The conflict is the source of endless suffering for Yemenis and must be extinguished,” said Egeland.
Facts and figures:
- 4 million people have been displaced by the war since 2015.
- 66 per cent of Yemen’s population – over 20 million people – need some form of aid.
- Half the population – 16 million – will not have access to enough food.
- Only half of health facilities and two-thirds of schools are currently functioning.
- Water infrastructure is operating at less than 5 per cent efficiency.
- An average of one child dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes.
- 672,000 people are expected to be displaced in 2021, 48 per cent women, 53 per cent children and adolescents, and 4 per cent elderly people.
- Yemen’s development has already been set back 21 years by the war.
- The number of conflict frontlines jumped last year to 49, from 33 in 2019.
- From 1 January 2021 – 17 March 2021, 834 civilian houses have been hit by armed violence, according to the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project.