YEMEN HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

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24.1

million people in need. The conflict has threatened millions of lives. 80 percent of the population requires some form of humanitarian assistance.

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Yemenis can't afford to buy food. Half the country is on the brink of starvation as access to food diminishes every day across the country.

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million cholera cases since 2018 and 25 percent are associated with children. Yemen has experienced the largest cholera epidemic in the world.

About the Crisis in Yemen

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Nearly four years of conflict has forced more than 4.3 million people to leave their homes, and an estimated 80 percent of the population – 24 million people – are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Since violence broke out in early 2015, conditions in Yemen - already one of the poorest countries in the Middle East - have rapidly deteriorated, driving the country to the brink of widespread famine and economic collapse. Extreme shortages of food, safe water, sanitation and healthcare, as well as deadly massive outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria, have taken a heavy toll on civilian lives and have deprived families of basic needs. 

Despite the backdrop of violence, conditions in the surrounding region are so poor that more than 300,000 refugees and asylum seekers have sought refuge in Yemen, fleeing violence and persecution in Somalia and Ethiopia.

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5 things you need to know about Yemen

What is UNHCR doing to help in Yemen?

Personal safety and food security remain two of the biggest challenges people face in Yemen. UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is on the ground helping treat acute malnutrition by delivering food, nutritional programs and cash assistance to displaced families. 

UNHCR provides shelter kits and household items - such as mattresses, blankets, sleeping mats and kitchen sets - to help vulnerable families repair damaged homes and refurbish settlements. The UN Refugee Agency also supports health facilities that serve refugees and asylum-seekers and works to prevent and control the spread of cholera which has become a serious public health emergency as a result of the conflict. 

UNHCR’s assistance has reached people in need in all regions of the country. In 2018 alone, at least 1.2 million internally displaced people received core relief items or cash assistance.

Learn more about What We Do.

Stories from the Yemen crisis

Yemen on the Brink of Famine

Yemen Refugee Camps and Settlements

Juma Mohammed Omar stands at the entrance to her shelter in Aden, a town on the soutwestern coast of Yemen.

  • Millions of internally displaced Yemenis live in makeshift shelters in urban and rural areas.
  • Yemenis who have fled the country have sought refuge in Oman, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Sudan.
  • Hundreds of thousands of displaced are living in Hajjah, a district northwest of the capital Sana'a.
  • Despite the ongoing crisis, Yemen hosts the world’s second largest Somali refugee population - some 250,000 people.
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