The ongoing armed conflict in Yemen has produced the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world. Based on the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview for Yemen, 20.7 million people – 66 per cent of the population – are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2021; 12.1 million people of whom are estimated to be in acute need.
The successive waves of armed conflict that have erupted in the country since 1962 have produced massive Explosive Ordnance (EO) contamination. The current armed conflict has dramatically increased both the scale and the complexity of the EO contamination, the total extent of which is still yet to be determined.
Much of the population of Yemen now live in or near areas heavily contaminated by EO. The contamination is complex and includes landmines, improvised landmines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), cluster munitions, and large air dropped weapons in addition to the full complement of conventional EO employed by ground forces. The massive scale of the EO contamination presents a daily threat to the lives and livelihood of civilians in Yemen and hinders humanitarian access and programming.
NPA performed an initial assessment visit to Yemen in 2017 and subsequently entered into a joint project with UNDP in 2018 to establish mine detection dogs (MDDs) capacity for the Yemen Executive Mine Action Centre (YEMAC). This includes training of Yemeni MDD handlers followed by institutional MDD capacity development of YEMAC where animal detection methods and procedures are integrated into the land release operations is Yemen.
In 2021, NPA established its office in Yemen. By establishing a Mine Action and Disarmament programme, and establishing and maintaining MDD capacity development project, NPA intends to respond to both the urgent humanitarian and protection needs present in Yemen, and also to help the Yemeni government work towards meeting their treaty obligations.
When the situation permits, NPA will extend and expand in scope to include survey and clearance operations in the south and north as well as capacity development of the Yemen Mine Action Coordination Centre (YMACC) more broadly in the areas of strategic management, information management and quality management.