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Yemen

Yemen faces intense humanitarian and development challenges, made worse by internal conflicts. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), more than 42% of the Yemeni people live below the poverty line. Ten million people are now suffering from food insecurity and there are approximately 500,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs). The humanitarian situation has been particularly dire in Abyan province, due to a lack of health care, water supply and public services, and with access to basic services limited by security challenges. In 2010, little or no international aid reached Abyan. An innovative solution was needed to tackle these challenges, and Humanitarian Forum Yemen (HFY) created the connections and support to enable local organisations to deliver aid. Together, we: * Arranged training for local organisations with UN OCHA, helping them with tools to assess better urgent needs like food, shelter, sanitation. * Worked with the CSOs to jointly survey and report on people's humanitarian needs. The assessment confirmed that 40% expressed a dire need for food and water, with 35% in need of shelter and 25% in need of non-food items. The consultations also highlighted that women and girls are particularly vulnerable. * Successfully applied for UN funding for a consortium of CSOs to deliver aid. This has benefited hundreds of displaced families in Abyan. Thanks to these joint efforts, the people of Abyan have received much needed relief and local CSOs are able to better serve their communities.

Find out more about our work in Yemen here.

 Somalia

In 2011, Somalia suffered from extreme drought, affecting more than 13 million people across the Horn of Africa. In July 2011, famine was declared in Somalia, killing more than 260,000 people, which the Associated Press confirmed was more than double the previous death toll estimates. According to a report by the UN and the US-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (Fews Net), more than half of the victims were aged 5 and below. Access restrictions made it challenging for the international aid community to respond to the crisis in a timely manner. Despite those challenges, The Humanitarian Forum played a key role in connecting various humanitarian organisations so as to address the humanitarian crisis in all regions of Somalia, and enable Somali NGOs to collectively coordinate efforts to benefit those in need. Furthermore, The Humanitarian Forum and Somali Relief and Development Forum (SRDF) carried out consultations with 73 local civil society organisations in Puntland, Somaliland, and South Central to underpin the issues facing Somali people. The consultations emphasised the need for balanced aid to address short term and long term developmental needs, and enhanced coordination between donors, international NGOs, local organisations and governments. Issues of unemployment, lack of security, poor health and education were identified as the main factors affecting households in their area. The majority of organisations also agreed that those in dire need of aid were not being assisted due to a lack of security in their area. The findings of the consultations were discussed at several meetings ahead of the 2nd International Conference on Somalia, which took place in London in May 2013. Among those meetings was a strategic roundtable discussion co-hosted by The Humanitarian Forum, SRDF, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the United Nations' Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). The meeting brought together senior representatives of Somali non-governmental organisations (NGOs), UN agencies and International NGOs to discuss the priorities of Somali civil society, and collectively develop recommendations to Somali and international governments. In addition, THF and SRDF held a Diaspora event at SOAS, which brought together 100 representatives from Somali and UK-based NGOs, as well as members of the Somali Diaspora in the UK, to discuss key humanitarian and development challenges affecting the Somali people, and raise awareness of the realities of the humanitarian and security situation in Somalia. Through these initiatives, The Humanitarian Forum successfully contributed towards connecting humanitarian organisations to tackle Somalia's crisis, and raising the voice of the Somali people to be heard by the international community.

Find out more about our work for Somalia here.

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