Type of response:
The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Nearly four years of conflict and severe economic decline are driving the country to the brink of famine and exacerbating needs in all sectors. An estimated 80 per cent of the population – 24 million people – require some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, including 14.3 million who are in acute need. Severity of needs is deepening, with the number of people in acute need a staggering 27 per cent higher than last year. Two-thirds of all districts in the country are already pre-famine, and one-third face a convergence of multiple acute vulnerabilities (source: UNOCHA).
The Dutch Relief Alliance Joint Response in Yemen has been running since 2015 with a focus on delivering multi-sectoral life-saving assistance in a consortium of Dutch partners. In 2019 we reached nearly 150,000 people in 7 districts, with three partners. During 2019 the security situation and humanitarian needs have continued to deteriorate, and in 2020 we are aiming to reach over 100,000 people in 20 districts with six partners and a budget of just under EUR 6 million.
Programming will take place in WASH, health and cash (which supports multiple sectors), in full alignment with Yemen coordination mechanisms, so that we are complementing other programming, other NGOs and UN bodies.
People who will be supported through the Joint Response are those who have had to leave their homes and been displaced due to conflict, as well as vulnerable host community members. Special attention is given to families and individuals depending on the type of assistance.
Key activities under WASH include hygiene promotion, with distribution of hygiene kits and menstrual hygiene items. This is combined with hygiene awareness raising for families and communities, with the aim of preventing diarrhoea and the spread of diseases such as cholera. Construction and rehabilitation of latrines, water sources and water supply points will be carried out in the same communities.
Cash programming is coordinated strongly in Yemen through the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster and Rapid Response Mechanism, with clear guidelines, and sharing information on where markets are working and cash support is appropriate. Some people receive several months of cash assistance, with the aim of supporting household income enabling purchases of food, medicines and fuel. Other people receive a single payment of cash under the ‘Rapid Response Mechanism’, particularly when there is rapid displacement and there are immediate emergency needs to be met.
Cash for work projects will also be run in some locations, working on community asset rehabilitation, including cleaning of farms, rehabilitation of roads, rehabilitation of water channels, digging or repairing of irrigation wells and repair or rehabilitation of other public infrastructure.
Cash support is particularly targeted to severely food insecure households, people who have been displaced, families with children under 5 with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) or Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM), as well as other specific needs and vulnerabilities. For protection considerations during cash programming, we ensure cash distribution points are as close as possible to the host communities and IDP locations, through consultation with the community committees, and are in easily accessible places. If people are unable to travel to collect cash, alternative arrangements will be made.
In 2020 the Joint response will focus more on health than in previous years, reflecting the huge and rising health needs in Yemen as well as the expertise of JR partners in health. In Yemen the Maternal Mortality Ratio in Yemen is 385/100,000 live births and Neonatal Mortality Rate is 26.8/1000 live births – some of the worst ratios in the world.
Different approaches are used by partners, including rehabilitation of health facilities, provision of cash grants to support travel to clinics for some of the most vulnerable patients, reproductive health support for women. Mobile Health Teams will provide primary health care and community outreach including mental and psychosocial support. Health activities are underpinned with training and improving technical skills for midwives, community health workers and medical service providers. Women and girls as well as children under 5 are the main people who are expected to be supported through the health programmes.
In addition to programme implementation the Joint Response partners, under the coordination of the Field Coordinator, are working on several joint activities around ensuring impact and quality for people receiving assistance, innovation, and localisation. For Yemen Joint Response support to local partners is a key strategic area.