Yemen Emergency

September 3, 2019

Fighting in Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, has severely compounded needs arising from long years of poverty and insecurity. The worsening violence has disrupted millions of lives, resulting in widespread casualties and massive displacement, and the situation is rapidly deteriorating.

Civilians bear the brunt of the crisis, with 22.2 million Yemenis now in need of humanitarian assistance. Those forced to flee their homes are especially at risk. 2 million people now languish in desperate conditions, away from home and deprived of basic needs. The situation is so dire that almost 1 million displaced Yemenis have lost hope and tried to return home, even though it is not yet safe.

Yemen is facing a humanitarian catastrophe. Without help, many more lives will be lost to violence, treatable illnesses or lack of food, water and shelter.

What is UNHCR doing to help?

We provide life-saving aid to displaced Yemenis, as well as to refugees and asylum-seekers, across the country.

Under the humanitarian coordination system in Yemen, we lead in the provision of protection, shelter and non-food items. We provide emergency shelter, mattresses, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets, buckets and more to help those displaced and most vulnerable. Our assistance has reached people in need in all 20 governorates affected by the conflict.

Our shelter kits help families repair homes damaged in the conflict, and we refurbish public buildings and settlements that now host displaced families. We support health facilities that serve refugees, asylum-seekers and Yemenis affected by violence, and we work to prevent and control the spread of cholera, which has arisen as a result of the conflict.

We provide legal and financial assistance as well as psycho-social support services to help those affected by the war.

We also continue to protect and support more than 280,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from the Horn of Africa, who remain in Yemen despite the conflict and are particularly at risk.

However, limited funding for our work in Yemen – currently only 3 per cent – means we are not able to fully address these massive needs, limiting our capacity to provide life-saving relief.