UN launches $275m appeal for Yemen as fighting intensifies

The UN has launched an appeal for almost $275m (£183m) to aid 7.5 million people in Yemen over the next three months as fighting intensifies in the south and air strikes pound 18 of its 22 provinces.
Yemen conflict: ‘This war has killed everything that was beautiful’ Read moreAbout 150,000 people have been displaced, 50% more than the previous UN estimate, the organisation’s humanitarian agency, OCHA, said on Friday, citing local sources. The agency said health facilities had reported 767 deaths from 19 March to 13 April, almost certainly an underestimate.
“Thousands of families have now fled their homes as a result of the fighting and air strikes,” the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, said. “Ordinary families are struggling to access healthcare, water, food and fuel – basic requirements for their survival.”
The fighting had destroyed, damaged or disrupted at least five hospitals, 15 schools, Yemen’s three main airports, two bridges, two factories and four mosques, as well as markets, power stations and water and sanitation facilities, OCHA said.
“Public water services covering 1 million people are at serious risk of collapse,” the UN appeal document said. “Hospitals are overwhelmed with casualties, including people who have been direct victims of violence and those suffering severe burns from explosions.”
Witness to air strike on Yemen refugee camp: women and children burned beyond recognition Read moreEven before the current conflict, Yemen was in a large-scale humanitarian crisis, with 15.9 million people – 61% of the population – estimated to require some kind of humanitarian aid.
The UN calculates it requires $273.7m to provide what Yemen needs. The largest part – $144.5m – aims to ensure food security for 2.6 million people. Yemen had 10.5 million people classed as food insecure in December 2014. That number has risen to 12 million and is expected to rise further as the fighting continues.
An estimated 100,000 tonnes of food are needed each month, but World Food Programme stocks are limited to 37,000 tonnes, the appeal document said.
“Humanitarian food stocks in-country are insufficient to meet growing needs and the dramatic decline in commercial imports is threatening the wider food supply,” it said. “Farmers are missing an entire cropping cycle, which will further reduce food availability.”