The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) warned on Thursday of the “conflict’s growing toll on civilians”, noting that Yemen’s economy is on the brink of “complete collapse.”
At least 264 families (1800 people) were displaced last week as a result of fierce fighting between government forces and Houthi rebels in Marib province, bringing the total of new displacements in the province to 27,000 since the beginning of 2021, OCHA said.
This comes amid ongoing fighting between government troops and Houthi insurgents east of the oil-rich city of Marib, the last stronghold of the Yemeni government in north Yemen.
In early February, the Iran-backed Houthi rebels launched a wide-scale offensive to seize the city of Marib, home to about one million IDPs who fled the scourge of war.
Since then, intense fighting has been going on, leading to the killing of thousands of fighters on both sides and increasing the number of new IDPs.
OCHA also voiced concern over imminent collapse of Yemen’s economy amid rapid depreciation of the rial, resulting in skyrocketing food prices in areas under the control of the Internationally recognized government.
“Yemen’s economy is on the verge of complete collapse. The Yemeni rial is now trading at more than 1,100 to the dollar in Government-controlled areas – a depreciation of more than 80 per cent since the start of the crisis,” OCHA stated on its official website. “This is contributing to surging food prices in a country where more than half the population is facing acute food insecurity and 5 million people are close to starvation.”
Last week, outraged protests spread in southern provinces, mainly in Aden and Hadramout, protesting the absence of services and the deterioration of the economy.
“Without additional funding, critical life-saving programmes – including food assistance – will be reduced or closed down as soon as next month,” OCHA warned.
Editing by Sami Almaqtari