The social vulnerability of the Yemeni population to humanitarian emergencies is not evenly distributed between the governorates. Some governorates may be more susceptible to the impacts than others, based on the circumstances of the people residing within them. In this paper, we present a methodology for assessing social vulnerability of governorates of Yemen to humanitarian emergencies using a Geographic Information Systems approach. We develop a spatial index of social vulnerability from an initial list of 80 variables that were reduced to 12 factors through Principal Component Analysis. Our findings show that the differences in social vulnerability between governorates are primarily driven by 12 factors, of which education, lack of basic services in health, water and sanitation, electricity, housing quality, poverty, limited livelihood opportunities, and internal and external displacement are the major determinants. The results show that the factors that contribute to social vulnerability are different for each governorate, underpinning the need for context-specific vulnerability reduction approaches. The most vulnerable governorates are characterized by conflicts, armed clashes and violence. The geographic variability in social vulnerability further underpins the need for different mitigation, humanitarian response and recovery actions. The use of Geographic Information Systems approach has contributed to our understanding of the geographies of vulnerability to humanitarian emergencies in Yemen.
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