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The crisis and the response
There are now at least 340,000 IDPs displaced by conflict in northern Yemen: return prospects are limited as the conflict has become regionalised.
The international community seems powerless to prevent further closure of humanitarian space as both sides violate international humanitarian law and prevent the free flow of assistance.
Yemen struggles, with minimal international funding, to cope with the continuing influx of Somali refugees.
Multiple shocks have exacerbated the vulnerability of families and left millions trapped in hunger and poverty.
Humanitarian funding has dropped: by October 2010 only 49 percent of the 2010 CAP had been covered.
Donors are preoccupied with a development agenda despite the humanitarian crisis.
Less than ten percent of the US$4.7 billion pledged for 2007-2010 at a major donor conference in Yemen has been provided.
Primarily focused on the al-Qa’ida presence in Yemen, most Western donors have remained silent about government human rights abuses, do not push for humanitarian access and lack knowledge of GHD Principles.
Substantial Gulf aid to the government and non-state actors is untransparent and unquantifiable – as is US support for the Yemeni military.
Key challenges and areas for improvement
Donors need to engage more with in-country humanitarian actors, Yemeni civil society and opposition forces committed to democratic transition.
Donors should see linkages between geostrategic objectives and humanitarian and development assistance: counter-terrorism objectives are best realised through fostering good governance and enabling the Yemeni state to provide basic services.
Coordination between traditional donors and Gulf donors is essential to build capacity for early warning, contingency planning and recovery.
The many aid actors who continue to see Yemen primarily through a development lens must acknowledge the scale of immediate life-threatening needs.