More than 90 regional and international humanitarian organisations and 150 relief experts are meeting in Doha to discuss the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
Organised by Qatar Charity in partnership with 13 regional and international organisations, the three-day conference entitled ‘The Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen: Challenges and Prospects for Humanitarian Response’, which began yesterday, seeks to unify the vision of the active partners regarding the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
It seeks to strengthen the exchange of information and reinforce the follow-up mechanisms related to identifying the needs of the affected people. The needs will be categorised based on their type and the geographical distribution of the areas. In addition, the conference aims at improving the action plans and initiatives between the partners.
The workshops and sessions of the first two days concentrate on evaluating the humanitarian condition in Yemen and identifying the needs of the different humanitarian fields such as education, health, water, sanitation, livelihood, economic empowerment, shelter, food and security. As for the third day, the meeting will be about displaying results, inaugurating initiatives, signing partnerships and alliances, and co-ordinating between field actors.
Abdul Raqeeb Fatah, Minister of Local Administration and Head of the High Relief Committee in Yemen, stressed the fact that the conference is, for the first time, establishing a clear relief database in Yemen based on scientific and field standards.
On the sidelines of the conference, the Yemeni minister spoke about the comprehensive survey that was conducted in 12 Yemeni governorates (out of 22 governorates) to identify the needs of the people and the suitable mechanisms for field work.
He also said that the conference is a real step towards achieving co-ordination between all partners through King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Aids, Qatar Charity, or the Red Crescent organisations in the GCC countries and other humanitarian organisations and institutions.
He added, “We look forward to seeing 2016 stage of relief work free of errors and mistakes that usually occur during crises. We hope it would be based on co-ordination and evaluation as two complimentary and consecutive processes.”
He also announced that a meeting will be held on March 7 to set the foundation of a co-ordination and organisation office for the relief work in Yemen. During the meeting, a comprehensive and unified plan for GCC countries will be devised for the support of Yemen in different fields.
The Yemeni minister highlighted the fact that the initiators responsible for holding the conference estimated the amount of money needed for covering the Yemenis’ requirements for six months only to be around 2,000,400,000 USD, while the Yemeni government estimated it to be around 1,000,400,000 USD.
For his part, Abdullah al-Ruwaili, Director of Humanitarian Aids Management at King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Aid, clarified that the Yemeni crisis needs huge support in order for the country’s different sectors to be covered. He pointed to the amount of urgent aid Yemen needs as estimated by the UN, which was around 2,500,000,000 USD.
Al-Ruwaili said that the disparity in the estimation of needs is ruled by the surveys actually conducted. “The situation in Yemen does not give us the opportunity to estimate the needs; however, the crisis shows that Yemen is in great need. We, in the Kingdom and Gulf, are committed to assisting our brothers and sisters in Yemen in whatever ways possible,” he added.
For his part, Mohamed Ali al Ghamdi, executive director of International Development at QC and the Co-ordinator of the Conference, said, “This conference is the first of its kind about the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Through this conference, we, along with our partners, seek to come out with an international initiative through which we could design a joint humanitarian response plan”.
He also pointed to a comprehensive survey that includes several sectors conducted by QC to assess the damage resulting from the Yemeni crisis in co-operation with a team of qualified Yemenis. The survey was based on a scientific methodology and is now available at the conference.
The Yemeni crisis is considered one of the greatest around the world considering the number of those who were affected. The population of Yemen is 26,000,000 people; more than 80% of them were affected by the crisis.
As estimated by the UN, the rate of people living under poverty line reached 60% (an increase of 35% in comparison with the rate before the crisis).
In Yemen, the service sectors are witnessing a severe breakdown especially in health, education and water as shown through figures and statistics estimated by humanitarian organisations and agencies.
QC’s survey estimated the number of projects which were affected in the fields of water and sanitation to be 735 (ie 17% of the total number of projects in the targeted areas), while the number of affected families because of the damage in the water and sanitation sectors to be around 656,747.
It also showed that the sector of education was affected in around 78% of the affected territories.
The number of schools included in the survey was about 2,987; almost 949 of them were affected (i.e. 32% of the total number of schools). 488,638 students could no longer continue their education because of the damage that happened to the educational institution.
QC’s survey showed that the number of affected health facilities reached 227. The survey included destroyed or lost furniture and disposables.
In addition, it showed that in the field of food all of Yemen was affected. The total number of affected families who could not get enough food was about 861,458 families.
The number of homeless people reached 2,500,000; that is 8 times what was initially reported when the crisis first started. Taiz, Amran, Hajjah, Sana’a, and Abyan were some of the most affected Yemeni governorates. The total number of displaced people from all of these governorates reached more than 1,500,000.
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