Yemen is suffering from the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. In 2021, the United Nations Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) reported that there are 20.7 million people in need in Yemen, where a lack of essential health and WASH services increases the spread of communicable disease outbreaks in over 70 percent of the country. At least 50 percent of people reported serious issues with water quality, with only 45 percent of Yemenis having access to hygiene materials such as soap. More than half of this group -- 12.1 million people -- are in acute need, requiring life-saving assistance. Deteriorating WASH infrastructure has contributed to a cholera outbreak and the spread of COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. Lack of access to potable water is one of the underlying causes of malnutrition in the country, undermining economic and social stability.
USAID/Yemen development program is laying the foundation for a more water-secure Yemen by rehabilitating water and sanitation infrastructure, building the operational and maintenance capacities of local service providers to ensure long-term sustainability and increasing resilience of community members to WASH-related illnesses through hygiene promotion. These interventions also helped increase the dignity and safety of women and children, who bear the primary responsibility of fetching water, and strengthened community cohesion by addressing community priorities. The severity of WASH needs and breadth of impact of USAID development assistance underscore the importance of continued investment in this sector despite the challenges posed in Yemen.