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Eighteen months of war has pushed Yemen to the brink of catastrophe and left millions of people running out of means of survival, warned Oxfam in a new report published today.
In a survey of 1,000 people who had fled their homes, three-quarters said they had been forced to flee due to airstrikes and one in five said their homes had been destroyed. Unable to return home, millions of people are facing unemployment, mounting debt and high food prices.
Almost two-thirds of those surveyed told Oxfam that close family members had died or had been injured as a result of the conflict.
Since the conflict began in March 2015 over 3,799 civilians have been killed and 6,711 injured (1) due to airstrikes, fighting and indiscriminate shelling, and 3.1 million people have been forced to flee their homes. More than 80 percent of the population is in need of humanitarian aid for survival.
Sajjad Mohamed Sajid, Oxfam's Country Director in Yemen, said: “Eighteen months of war has destroyed the lives of millions of Yemenis. Twenty million people are in need of aid for survival and half the country goes to bed hungry every night. The world cannot continue to turn a blind eye as the most vulnerable continue to pay the highest price in this brutal conflict.
“World powers need to focus their efforts to pushing for and supporting peace, and provide immediate humanitarian aid to help the millions of people on the edge of starvation.”
People who try to return home find unexploded ordinances and destroyed schools, factories and health centers, making it almost impossible for them to rebuild lives. The economy has been shattered, with one in four companies now closed and 70 percent of the workforce laid off. The conflict has caused $7 billion of damage and over $12 billion in economic losses.
The report also finds that with little hope in sight, men are joining armed groups and girls are increasingly forced into marriage, while crime and social unrest are on the rise. This worsening situation is leading to more instability and is further undermining hopes for a stable peace.
Oxfam is calling on all parties to the conflict to reach a political solution to stop the violence and put an end to the bloodshed.
Since July 2015 Oxfam has reached more than 913,000 people with clean water, food vouchers, cash transfers, hygiene kits and other essential aid, across the frontlines, in both the north and south of Yemen.
Notes to editors
1. OHCHR – 25 August 2016 - http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=20411&LangID=E
Oxfam Briefing Paper: Picking Up the Pieces