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million Yemenis, or 14 percent of the population, have been forced to flee their homes because of the crisis. Most of them have been displaced multiple times over a number of years. 


million people in Yemen are in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection services, two thirds of the population.


million Yemenis suffer from high levels of acute food insecurity, including 6 million people on the brink of famine. 

About the Crisis in Yemen

Yemen, located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Nine years of war have driven more than 4.5 million people from their homes and 21.6 million are in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection services. Yemen remains among the top six largest internal displacements in the world. 

Since violence broke out in late March 2015, Yemen - already one of the poorest countries in the Middle East – has seen its economy shrink by more than half. Less than half of Yemen’s health facilities are functioning and many that remain operational lack basic equipment and are unable to deliver minimum essential services. Nearly 90 percent of the population has no access to publicly supplied electricity. Key public service employees, including Yemeni health workers and two-thirds of all Yemeni teachers, have not received a regular salary in years.

Years of economic decline and institutional collapse are pushing the country to the brink of a large-scale famine, with 17.3 million people—over half of the population—suffering from high levels of acute food insecurity and 6 million people who are just one step away from famine. Internally displaced Yemenis are most at risk of food insecurity; studies show that displaced families are four times more at risk of falling into famine than the rest of the Yemeni population. Their situation has been further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, outbreaks of preventable diseases and climate-induced natural disasters. 

Despite the conflict, Yemen hosts 137,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Somalia and Ethiopia, making it the world’s second largest host of Somali refugees.


Displaced Yemenis need our help

What is UNHCR doing to help in Yemen?

Despite challenging circumstances, the UN Refugee Agency is on the ground delivering lifesaving support to millions of displaced Yemenis as well as to refugees and asylum-seekers across the country.

Protection and food security remain the top priorities. UNHCR is helping displaced Yemeni families meet their basic needs through the provision of shelter, essential household supplies, cash assistance, registration services and legal aid. The cash-assistance program reaches more than one million people every year.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR has also been supporting health facilities, distributing hygiene kits and promoting activities to raise awareness about the disease.

Learn more about What We Do.


Stories from the Yemen crisis

Yemen Crisis Explained

What is it like to be a woman in Yemen?

See all stories about the Yemen refugee crisis >

Yemen Refugee Camps and Settlements

Somali family sits near their shelter in Kharaz refugee camp in Yemen.

Somali refugee family sits near their shelter
in Kharaz refugee camp, Yemen.

  • More than three quarters of all displaced persons in Yemen are women and children and at least 26 percent of displaced households are female-headed.
  • Approximately 66 percent of the internally displaced in Yemen live in dangerous locations, characterized by widespread food insecurity and lack of basic services.
  • 2.7 million Yemeni children are currently out of school.
  • An estimated 15.4 million people need water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance and services.
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