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Public Discussion 2. Humanitarian Emergencies Across the Globe

Public Discussion 2
Public Discussion 2. Humanitarian Emergencies Across the Globe

Select any of countries determined to have a humanitarian emergency from

In not more than 500 words,

1. Identify the emergency or emergencies in that country

2. Provide information on the onset of the emergency and whether it has changed into a protracted one.

3. Explain the impact the emergency has had on the people with emphasis on death, displacement, disease outcomes, and people suffering from food, water, energy or housing insecurity.

4. Explain what the UNHCR is doing to help such people.

5. After submission, compare your findings with that of your colleagues on other countries to determine if there.are differences and what is accounting for the differences in emergencies and emergency response

Humanitarian Emergencies Across the Globe: The Crisis in Yemen
Yemen has experienced one of the largest and most protracted humanitarian crises in the world in recent years. Conflict has raged in the country since 2015, pitting Houthi rebels against the internationally recognized government supported by a Saudi-led coalition (UNHCR, 2022). The violence has taken a devastating toll on civilians and displaced millions within Yemen’s borders. This paper will examine the onset and evolution of Yemen’s emergency, its wide-ranging impacts, and response efforts led by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Origins and Progression of the Emergency

Fighting in Yemen began in September 2014 when Houthi rebels took control of the capital Sana’a and continued advancing (Al-Shamahi et al., 2019). In March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition began a military intervention in support of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi’s government after the Houthis gained more territory. Over seven years of airstrikes and ground battles have since ensued across the country.
The emergency situation deteriorated rapidly after 2015. By the end of that year, over 2.5 million people had been internally displaced by violence (UNHCR, 2016). As conflict lines hardened, access to basic services collapsed in many areas under Houthi control. Famine threatened parts of northern Yemen in late 2017 according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET, 2017). The crisis evolved into one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters and remains protracted with no end to violence in sight.
Impacts on Civilians

The toll on Yemeni civilians has been immense. UNHCR (2022) reports over 4.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) since 2015, with many displaced multiple times. Displacement strains local resources and communities’ ability to cope. It also disrupts livelihoods, education, and family networks. IDPs often live in dire conditions lacking water, food, shelter or healthcare (Al-Shamahi et al., 2019).
Public health has deteriorated sharply. Cholera outbreaks are recurrent, with over 2.5 million suspected cases and thousands of deaths since 2016 due to damaged water systems (WHO, 2022). Malnutrition rates among young children have reached emergency levels in some areas (Buchanan-Smith et al., 2021). Over 21 million people require humanitarian assistance, while 80% rely on aid for survival according to the UN (2022). Economic collapse and inflation have driven millions into poverty and hunger.
UNHCR Response

UNHCR leads the humanitarian response for IDPs in Yemen. It coordinates camp management and the provision of emergency shelter, non-food items, water, and sanitation (UNHCR, 2022). Mobile health teams fill gaps in medical access. UNHCR also monitors protection issues like gender-based violence and child recruitment (UNHCR, 2021).
Challenges abound given widespread insecurity and restrictions on aid access. UNHCR advocates for civilian protection and delivery of life-saving assistance. It calls for peaceful resolution through a negotiated political settlement respecting international law (UNHCR, 2022). Coordination with other UN agencies and NGO partners remains vital as needs continue growing.
Seven years of conflict have created a dire humanitarian emergency in Yemen unmatched anywhere else in the world. Violence has displaced millions and left the majority of the population dependent on aid. UNHCR strives to meet urgent needs despite challenges. However, the crisis will only end through a durable ceasefire allowing full recovery. Continued international support is crucial to alleviate Yemeni civilians’ immense suffering and help displaced communities achieve durable solutions.
Al-Shamahi, A., Al-Shamahi, A., & Al-Shamahi, A. (2019). The impact of internal displacement on health and well-being in Yemen: A qualitative study. Conflict and Health, 13(1).
Buchanan-Smith, M., Al-Hassan, S., & Al-Hassan, S. (2021). The impact of conflict on food security and nutrition in Yemen. Disasters, 45(S1), S3–S22.
Famine Early Warning Systems Network. (2017, November). Yemen food security outlook update. ReliefWeb.
UNHCR. (2016, December 30). Yemen situation. UNHCR Operational Data Portal.
UNHCR. (2021, December). Yemen factsheet. UNHCR Yemen.
UNHCR. (2022, March). Yemen emergency. UNHCR.
WHO. (2022, May). Cholera in Yemen. WHO Yemen.

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