How Humanitarians In Yemen Coordinate Their Response
The situation has pushed millions of people into a downward spiral into crisis and reliance on humanitarian assistance. In the face of crisis, how do local and international humanitarian organizations coordinate their efforts and provide relief?
“Yemen is a country being torn apart by conflict, severe economic decline, collapsing public services, loss of livelihoods, and other challenges, both chronic and acute. The rapidly deteriorating situation has pushed millions of people into a downward spiral into crisis and reliance on humanitarian assistance.”
Those are the words of Jamie McGoldrick, the UN’s former Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen. They summarize the state of emergency which
was declared in 2015. At that time a system-wide response was mobilized to provide humanitarian assistance in the country. The scale up of assistance meant that by 2018, 120 humanitarian organizations would be coordinating a multiparty response to meet the most basic needs of 80% of Yemen’s population.
Often the first to respond are not international agencies, but locals who themselves have been impacted by the crisis. In Yemen alone, local groups outnumber international aid organizations 3-to-1. How can so many diverse organizations mobilize quickly in extremely unstable environment? In addition, how are local groups included in a system, directed largely by international agencies?
Since 2005, the world’s humanitarian community has implemented the Cluster Approach, which provides a platform for organizations to communicate and coordinate together. A Cluster is a group of humanitarian organizations working in the same area of action, each is led by a different UN Agency.