Crisis in Yemen

Yahya* lives in one room with his family and all their possessions. They need to walk for two hours to reach water wells, which are often contaminated by cholera. Photo: Gabreez/Oxfam

Yahya (name changed) lives in one room with his family and all their possessions. They need to walk for two hours to reach water wells, which are often contaminated by cholera. Photo: Gabreez/Oxfam

After six years of war, Yemen remains the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Almost 4 million people have been displaced by the fighting and four out of every five people are in need of humanitarian assistance. We are delivering essential aid but we urgently need your help to do more.

A brutal and devastating conflict

The people of Yemen are experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The conflict between a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf countries and the Government of Yemen against the Ansar-Allah movement (also known as the Houthis), which escalated in March 2015, has so far caused more than 12,000 civilian deaths. Nearly four million people have been forced to flee their homes due to the bombing and fighting.

24 million people – 80 percent of Yemen’s population – need emergency aid, the greatest number in any country in the world.

Millions at risk of famine and disease

The country’s economy has been shattered. Countless homes, warehouses, farms and vital parts of civilian infrastructure have been destroyed. The flow of food – nearly 90 percent of which had to be imported even before the conflict started - has been massively disrupted by the warring parties. Prices are continuing to rise, while many of the poorest people have lost their incomes.

More than half of Yemenis do not have enough to eat. 7.4 million people – 25 percent of the population – suffer from malnutrition, including 2 million children.

“Famine is imminent. It could happen any time... People have [sold] all their belongings and they have nothing more to sell in order to get food.”

Ibrahim Alwazir, Oxfam Communications Coordinator in Yemen

Widespread destruction of the country’s health services and water infrastructure have left Yemen acutely vulnerable to the coronavirus. There have been confirmed cases across the country, but the number is likely to be significantly higher than reported.

Medical supplies are in chronically short supply and only half of health facilities are fully functioning. Millions of people are scattered in camps for displaced persons with little food and poor hygiene. In 2017 the country suffered the largest ever outbreak of cholera since records began. More than a million people were thought to have contracted it that year at least 3,000 people have died.

Des déplacés font des réserves d'eau à un point de distribution installé par Oxfam dans le camp de Al-Manjorah, au Yémen.IDPs collecting water from the water distributions point at the Al-Manjorah camp, in Hajjah governorate. With no source of water in the surroundings, nearly 20,000 people benefit from Oxfam’s water trucking project in the camp. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani/Oxfam

Our response

We work across Yemen to provide clean water, sanitation and hygiene. We deliver cash and vouchers, and help people earn a living. Since July 2015 we have reached more than 3 million people across the frontline.

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We provide the most vulnerable people with cash to cover their basic food needs. We also provide cash grants to small businesses and farmers, as well as providing cash for work projects that allow people to be paid for rehabilitating essential infrastructure such as roads and water systems.

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We provide clean water and sanitation, including in hard-to-reach areas, through providing water by truck, repairing water systems, delivering filters and jerry cans, and building latrines. We distribute hygiene kits for the most vulnerable households and organize hygiene awareness programs.

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We work to ensure that civilians are well protected, and work with civil society organizations in both the south and the north to ensure that the voices of women and youth are heard when it comes to the peace process.

Help us do more, donate now

Yemen faces the triple threat of war, disease and hunger. Continuing conflict, airstrikes and restrictions on imports have left the country on the brink of famine. For millions of Yemeni women, men and children, life remains a daily struggle and violence a constant threat.

We are on the ground distributing life-saving aid, but we urgently need to reach more people and we can’t do it without you.