As the international community welcomes political progress in Yemen, Islamic Relief is advocating for a joined-up response to the large-scale humanitarian crisis in the country.

One of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, more than half of Yemen’s population – 14.7 million people – require some form of humanitarian assistance. Since the civil unrest in 2011, over 13 million do not have access to safe water and sanitation, whilst at least 10.5 million live in the shadow of hunger. Alarmingly high malnutrition rates are seeing over one million children acutely malnourished in Yemen today.

Recent political progress, suggests the United Nations, could be affected if the humanitarian crisis is not comprehensively addressed.

Closely coordinating humanitarian and recovery programmes

Islamic Relief, which has been working in the country for a decade, is closely coordinating its humanitarian and recovery programs with UNOCHA and other UN agencies through the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2014, launched earlier this month. This includes the UNHCR protection program targeting over 12,000 displaced people in Haradh and Amran, and the Emergency Response Fund for treating and preventing acute malnutrition among children. The Food for Assistance project, in addition, is moving from emergency intervention to long-term development that enhances agriculture and livelihoods in Yemen.

The plan brings together humanitarian actors to deliver a coordinated response to the crisis. It aims to ensure a strategic approach to humanitarian action, responding to pressing needs and address the root causes of poverty and suffering.

More support for sustainable humanitarian intervention needed

As thousands of displaced Yemenis return to the south, humanitarian access has improved and more aid agencies are now working in the region – creating a vital opportunity, says the UN, to increase resilience amongst local people.

More support for sustainable humanitarian intervention is crucial, as last year’s plan saw some sectors seriously under-funded. There are also calls for more support for the Emergency Response Fund.