Yemen is a country in crisis. Due to civil conflict that worsened in March 2015, over 80 per cent of the population need humanitarian aid. Providing food, safe clean water and medical help are priorities.
- More than 14 million people do not have enough food.
- Over two million people have been forced to flee their homes.
- Over 6,400 have been killed.
- 30,000 have been injured or disabled in the fighting, many of them civilians.
- Over 100 hospitals and medical centres have been damaged or destroyed.
- 600 healthcare facilities have been forced to close because of insecurity and shortages of fuel, oxygen and medicines.
Some towns and cities, including the capital Sana’a, have been without enough electricity and water supplies for more than a year. Many businesses had to close, making it difficult for people to get even basic supplies.
How the Red Cross has helped
The Red Cross has helped over 300,000 people, most of whom had left their homes because of fighting.
- 180,000 people received food rations such as rice, beans, lentils, oil, tea and sugar.
- 110,000 people received blankets and personal hygiene items.
- Essential household items including kitchen utensils, buckets, water containers and sleeping mats were supplied to people who had fled their homes.
- 2.2 million people got clean water thanks to teams who repaired damaged water points and provided water purification materials.
Why is the situation so serious?
Yemen is in the Middle East, south of Saudi Arabia and only about 20 miles across the Red Sea from Djibouti in the Horn of Africa.
The country’s 24 million people were already among the poorest in the Middle East before the current conflict began.
While there has been sporadic conflict in Yemen for decades, the recent fighting is much more intense. Tragically, ten Red Cross staff and volunteers were killed in the first year of fighting. Several volunteers have been wounded.
Health centres are particularly badly affected. Civilians are dying or becoming disabled because hospitals have been destroyed and essential drugs are in very short supply.
For the future
The UN has helped broker ceasefires and peace talks but the humanitarian need will continue for a long time even if the fighting stops.
Our Red Cross partners have worked in Yemen since 1962. They have been able to provide lifesaving relief aid even in the midst of the conflict.
Work to provide relief supplies, support medical facilities and rebuild the country’s infrastructure will continue as long as it is needed.