• Crisis Severity ?
    4.7
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    5.0
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    4.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    4.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 30,800,000 Total population [?]
  • 27,100,000 People affected [?]
  • 20,700,000 People in Need [?]

Special Reports

04/04/2022

Special Reports

08/02/2022

Special Reports

10/01/2022

Special Reports

29/11/2021

Special Reports

05/11/2021

Overview

29/09/2021

Ongoing conflict between the internationally recognised Government of Yemen (IRG) and the De-facto Authority (DFA), better known as the Houthis, escalated in 2015. Following the Houthi takeover of the capital, Sana’a, the Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in support of the government. Since then, the conflict has resulted in a severe humanitarian crisis with over 18,557 civilian casualties reported between March 2015 and November 2020, up to 4.3 million people displaced, severe access constraints, and economic downturn leaving more than 20.7 million people (66% of the population) in need of humanitarian assistance?.

Yemen was historically divided by different political, tribal, ethnic, and religious identities. Current conflict further fragmented Yemen into three main areas of control. As at September 2021, the Houthis control the majority of northern and central governorates, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) controls part of southern Yemen (mainly Aden and Socotra), and the IRG controls the remainder of southern and eastern governorates ?.

Active conflict between the Houthis and the IRG in 2020 intensified in some areas opening seven new frontlines along the borders of Ma’rib, Sana’a and Al Jawf governorates. In Al Hodeidah, Ad Dali', Al Bayda, Sa'dah and Ta'iz governorates, conflict remains intermittent with no major changes since the Stockholm agreement was signed in December 2018?. Talks to implement the Riyadh agreement, signed in November 2019 between the IRGand the STC, resumed in July 2020 after tensions has raised between the two parties in Abyan in May 2020. The negotiations suffered multiple setbacks and the implementation of the plan remains stalled, despite the formation of a new Cabinet on 18 December 2020, including both IRG and STC members?

The war has added to problems of chronic poverty, weak governance, water scarcity, and systemic discrimination. People’s livelihoods and resources have depleted while prices of basic commodities have more than doubled, reducing purchasing power. In 2021, 16.2 million people in Yemen are expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above). Economic warfare between the IRG and the Houthis has also led to fuel and basic commodity shortages?. Yemenis have also suffered outbreaks of diseases including COVID-19, cholera, diphtheria, and dengue fever. An estimated 17.9 million people lack adequate healthcare and only 50% of health facilities remain fully functional?.

Latest Developments

31/03/2022

No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

HUMANITARIAN ACCESS

07/12/2021

very high CONSTRAINTS

The improvement observed in Yemen in the violence against aid workers indicator should be analysed with caution as it could be the result of information gaps or delays in reporting. Overall, humanitarian access continues to be challenging across the country as a result of conflict, insecurity, bureaucratic impediments, and civil unrest.

Insecurity and conflict have increased in Marib governorate between the Internationally Recognised Government of Yemen and the Houthis, displacing over 29,000 people between July–October and affecting the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Poor road infrastructure in Marib affects access to markets, medical supplies, and the delivery of aid to people in need. Checkpoints and marketplaces are increasingly becoming flashpoints for violent incidents in Lahj, affecting the safe movement of civilians and humanitarian organisations.

Daily protests in areas under the Internationally Recognised Government and the Southern Transitional Council since January 2021 have escalated in September, leading to the blockage of main roads by burning tires and attacking public property. Security forces have met protests with aggression, including the use of tear gas and open fire with live ammunition to disperse protesters. Such violence has led to the closure of markets and shops for several days in the Aden and Hadramawt governorates, which has disrupted livelihoods, access to commodities, and the ability of humanitarian organisations to access people in need.

In Houthi-controlled areas, a range of bureaucratic impediments have been reported, including travel permits, the request to share aid recipient lists, and the requirement for national female aid workers to travel with a male guardian, particularly in the Al Hodeidah, Hajjah, and Sadah governorates. These requirements affect the humanitarian response, particularly for women and girls, as there might not be enough female humanitarians to meet with or deliver aid to them. Publicly available data on access constraints and the number of people affected in Yemen continues to be outdated or unavailable, slowing aid delivery and affecting its analysis.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Risk

The militarisation of Al Hodeidah and Saleef ports leads to targeted attacks on the ports, forcing their closure and causing food and fuel import disruptions Latest update: 27/03/2022

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

RATIONALE

Since January 2022, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen has made more accusations regarding the Houthi militarisation of Al Hodeidah and Saleef ports. On 3 January 2022, the de-facto authority (DFA) in the north of Yemen (also known as the Houthis) seized an Emirati-flagged vessel in the Red Sea. They have since kept it in Saleef port just north of Al Hodeidah.? The incident led the Saudi-led coalition to declare that the militarisation of the Red Sea ports could lead to counter-measures, including a military operation, despite international law protecting ports as civilian facilities (and not military objects).? A series of drone and ballistic missile attacks by the DFA towards the United Arab Emirates (UAE) followed the seizing of the vessel. These attacks resulted in increased airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in DFA areas. On 21 January, the Saudi-led coalition launched an airstrike against Al Hodeidah, hitting the telecommunications hub and causing widespread telecommunications outage for three days.?

The further escalation of DFA cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia and the UAE, along with other military activities in the Red Sea threatening their vessels and international shipping lines in general, increases the risk of DFA forces stationed in Al Hodeidah city close to the ports being targeted. The partial or total destruction of the Red Sea ports would very likely disrupt commercial and humanitarian food and fuel imports to the majority of the Yemeni population in DFA areas. International concern over the humanitarian consequences and the UAE being conscious of any reputational damage currently deter any targeted attacks, keeping their probability low. Regardless, such an incident would have extreme humanitarian consequences, making it a medium risk overall.

IMPACT

Al Hodeidah and Saleef ports are a lifeline for the majority of the population in DFA areas. Approximately 70% of bulk food and 80% of humanitarian aid food come through Al Hodeidah port.? A military attack destroying Al Hodeidah port or other critical supply chain infrastructure nearby would hamper the delivery of basic food commodities and humanitarian aid and sharply increase food prices. Humanitarian needs would significantly increase, and food insecurity levels would rise. The disruption of port operations would further reduce the already limited fuel supply through Al Hodeidah, likely affecting electricity production, health and WASH services, and transportation. Humanitarian organisations would have to import food and fuel from southern ports controlled by the DFA then transport them overland to DFA areas. The longer routes would significantly increase costs. The rerouting will also very likely result in a bottleneck, causing massive delays. Although both Aden and Mukalla ports have demonstrated the ability to absorb increased volumes of commercial fuel, questions remain regarding how bulk food imports could be scaled up. Finally, the halting of fuel and food imports would put thousands of people’s jobs at serious risk, affecting livelihoods.?

Read this risk

YEMEN ECONOMY TRACKING INITIATIVE

31/03/2022

The Yemen Economic Tracking Initiative (YETI) dashboard and dataset track key economic trends, developments, and risks to support economic policymaking for Yemen.

YETI provides a greater overall and comparative understanding of the current political-economic situation in the country.

This new platform is divided in four modules: 

  • Imports and exports
  • FX rate and commodity price
  • Interactive monitoring timeline
  • IPC food emergency analysis

COVID-19

07/11/2021

As of 5 November 2021, there have been 9,831 COVID-19 cases reported in the country, including 1,901 deaths. Yemen recorded a steep increase of COVID-19 cases in March and April 2021, the number of cases started to decrease in June but increased again in August and September, although at a lower rate than previously. The most affected governorates are Hadramawt, Taiz and Aden. However, the higher numbers in Hadramawt are likely due to better testing and reporting in that governorate. Houthi authorities have officially reported only four cases, including one death, in Sana'a city and have not reported any case since May 2020. The number of cases both in the north and the south of Yemen is largely under-reported due to limited testing facilities, difficulties in accessing health care, and the risks of seeking treatment.? Currently, there are few restrictions related to COVID-19 in place in Yemen. Al Wadeeah land border point is open, allowing Yemenis holding a negative PCR test in addition to a COVID-19 vaccination certification to enter the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Al Shahin land border point is partially opened; only permitting entry to Yemen from Oman subject to providing a negative PCR test.? In Marib governorate, local authorities imposed a curfew from 9:00 PM until 04:00 in an attempt to combat the spread of the virus.

On 31 March 2021, Yemen received 360,000 doses of vaccine through the COVAX initiative. The country is expected to receive a total of 1.9 million doses, which would only cover less than 1 million people (3% of the total population). In IRG areas, the vaccination campaign started on 20 April 2021 and a total of 323,000 injections have been administered between April and September. WHO confirmed that that 10,000 doses of vaccine reached Sana’a on 31 May 2021, it remains unclear if the De-Facto Authority in the north (the Houthis) have started to administer the injections. ?There is a risk that the doses will expire if not inoculated within the right timeframe. As Saudi Arabia started to require a proof of vaccination to enter the country, many Yemeni workers in the Gulf country, who had come back to Yemen for the celebration of Ramadan, could not go back to work in Saudi Arabia.? Many risk seeing their visa expire before they can manage to get a vaccine – therefore loosing their income.

To find out more read ACAPS Risk report and State narratives, social perceptions and health behaviours report 

KEY PRIORITIES

12/01/2021

WASH: Yemen is one of the most water scarce countries in the world. Around 18 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation. Access to water has been further diminished by the impact of over five years of conflict leaving 20 million people in need of WASH assistance. The lack of water contributes to a high prevalence of preventable diseases. IDPs, especially living in informal settlements have limited access to clean water and sanitation.?

Food securityConflict and economic decline are the main drivers of food insecurity in Yemen. Since the conflict started in 2015 livelihoods have been disrupted, reducing income opportunities and the ability to purchase food. Food insecurity is most severe in areas with active fighting and is particularly affecting IDPs, marginalized groups, fishing communities and landless wage laborers. Projections for January - June 2021 estimate that the number of food insecure people will reach 16.2 million, including 11 million in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis), 5 million in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and 47,000 in IPC Phase 5 (Catastrophe). Estimations suggest that in 2021 there will be 300,000 people more facing acute food insecurity compared to late 2018, with a slight decrease in the number of people in IPC Phase 5.? 

Health:  Access to healthcare is severely limited, with only 50% of health facilities fully functional leaving almost 20 million people without adequate access. Lack of salaries for heath personnel, damage to health facilities and difficulty importing medicines and medical supplies are all accelerating the decline of the already deteriorated public health services. Private-sector health services exist but remain out of reach for millions of vulnerable people due to high prices?. The first case of COVID-19 in Yemen was recorded on 10 April from Hadramout. See COVID-19 box for more information. 

YEMEN ANALYSIS HUB

12/01/2021

The ACAPS Yemen Analysis Hub provides inter-sectoral, forward-looking analysis to support a stronger evidence base for humanitarian decision making in Yemen. 

Learn more about the Yemen Analysis Hub.

If you are interested in the reports produced by the hub, please subscribe to the ACAPS Yemen mailing list.

Information Gaps and Needs

12/01/2021

More granular information is required to better understand the causes and level of needs. 

More research on specific needs of vulnerable and marginalised groups is needed to understand the severity of needs and coping mechanisms between different communities. 

For more information read ACAPS Yemen Analysis Ecosystem report

Natural hazards

29/09/2021

Yemen is prone to disasters. Flash flooding, and cyclones cause displacement, severe infrastructure damage, casualties, and the spread of multiple diseases each season. Seasonal rain in Yemen lasts from March to October and the threat of flooding is high in western and coastal areas.

Between July and August 2021, torrential rain and flash floods have caused damages to public infrastructure, destroyed and damaged around 10,000 houses, and affected an estimated 174,000 people across Yemen. Damages to roads have cause movement restrictions in many areas. IDPs living near water streams continue to be the most affected, due to lack of mitigation measures in place and inadequate shelter. While the intensity of rain and flash floods is less compared to previous years, the impact is becoming more severe due to households' depletion of resources, exposure to multiple hazards, lack of renovation of public infrastructure, and houses previously damaged by floods.?

For more information on flooding read ACAPS Briefing note here

Yemen: Areas of control map and dataset

04/04/2022

The ACAPS Yemen Analysis Hub produces a bi-weekly dataset providing an overview of the latest areas of control in Yemen, including a map, excel spreadsheet and GIS layer. All datasets are fully PCODED to Admin 2 district level, enabling interoperability with other datasets.

The datasets are published on HDX and can be found here.

04/04/2022