18.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, including 10.3 million people in acute need, after fighting escalated in March 2015.? 

An armed advance on the capital in September 2014 by Houthis from the north triggered a civil war throughout the country. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia is supporting the Yemeni government with airstrikes. Activities by southern secessionists Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Islamic State (IS) compound the security and political challenges.?

The humanitarian situation is further exacerbated by Yemen’s failing economy. The Central Bank in Yemen is near collapse, putting food imports at risk.?

The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) declared Yemen a Level 3 emergency in July 2015. INFORM measures Yemen's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster at a very high level of 7.6/10. Hazard and exposure as well as lack of coping capacity and vulnerability are all at alarming levels: 8.2/10, 7.9/10 and 7.8/10 respectively.? 

Latest Developments

23/03: MSF announced a decision to withdraw its services gradually over the next three months from al Thawra hospital in Ibb, due to an inability to operate in accordance with its principles of independence and impartiality. Ibb borders Taiz, where fighting has been severe, and needs in the area are high. ?

21/03: The UN denied a request by the Saudi-led coalition to place the port of al Hudaydah under UN supervision, stating the warring parties bear the responsibility to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure in conflict areas. ?

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Crisis Overview 2016 - Yemen

The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016

Yemen is one of the 15 crises analysed in this report.

Read the full report here

Key figures

  • 18,800,000 People in need  [?]
  • 17,000,000 Food insecure  [?]
  • 1,991,400 IDPs  [?]
  • 462,000 Severely malnourished children  [?]

Key priorities

WASH: 14.5 million people are in need of WASH assistance.?

Health: 14.8 million people lack access to healthcare. Almost 2,000 health facilities have stopped or reduced operations.??

Food security: Imports of staple foods have decreased significantly since the escalation of conflict, leading to steep price increases. Yemen ordinarily imports 90% of its staple foods.?

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Information Gaps and needs

  • Limited information available on the needs of the Muhamasheen minority (10% of population), who live in dire conditions and are more in need than the average population.

  • Underreporting of casualties due to the collapse of the health system. No updates on prevalent diseases such as dengue

  • Limited access means detailed data on humanitarian needs is not always available.


Lessons learned

  • Yemen will continue to suffer from a water crisis in the absence of strategies to stabilise water supply and demand patterns.?
  • Emergency cash distributions by Oxfam in 2011 proved very efficient. The cash was distributed through the Social Welfare Fund.? It shifted from a focus on IDPs and host communities to a more inclusive approach of targeting crisis-affected communities and hunger in Yemen. ODI found, however, that beneficiaries lacked knowledge about the Social Welfare Fund and cash programming.?
  • Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula derives its strength from popular support, not territory. In 2012, AQAP recovered and regained territory after losses similar to those as of late April 2016, when they lost their stronghold Mukalla. They are therefore likely to reemerge.?


Key documents

European Council on Foreign Relations


Yemen's forgotten war: How Europe can lay the foundations for peace



Humanitarian Needs Overview 2017

CARE & Oxfam


From the ground up: Gender and conflict analysis in Yemen

Hisham Al Omeisy


The media's role in Yemen's 500 days of war



Moving beyond "the brink": The need for nuance in Yemen reporting

Chatham House


Yemen: Stemming the Rise of a Chaos State

International Crisis Group


Yemen at War



How Saudi Arabia's War in Yemen Has Made Al Qaeda Stronger - and Richer

International Crisis Group


Yemen - Is Peace Possible?

Middle East Eye


Analysis: Southern Yemenis Look for Payback After Battle of Aden