The conflict in Yemen: Humanitarian support for people of Yemen

Yemen is enduring the world's largest humanitarian crisis. 

Last updated 23 January 2024

What's happening in Yemen

Every part of people’s daily life in Yemen has been affected by long years of conflict. Two-thirds of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance. Families struggle to access food, healthcare, clean water, and other basic services. Only half of Yemen’s healthcare facilities are functioning, and even those face an extreme lack of shortages of medical supplies and personnel. 

Even though a UN-brokered truce agreed in April 2022 has largely been upheld, Yemeni people continue to face the most extreme impacts of the conflict, compounded by climate disasters and a failing economy.   

Please donate to our Yemen Crisis Appeal if you can.


How is the Red Cross helping in Yemen?

The Yemen Red Crescent Society (YCRS) continues to be the main community-based humanitarian organisation in Yemen, supporting people across the country to access basic services and begin to rebuild their lives. You can continue to support this vital work by donating to the British Red Cross Yemen Crisis appeal.

The British Red Cross has worked with the YRCS for many years. Over the past nine years we’ve supported the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement response to the humanitarian impacts of the conflict in Yemen. Our support involves cash and voucher assistance programs in several governorates. These programs are pivotal in aiding the most vulnerable families, enabling them to secure food and education for their children.

As well as working with YRCS disaster response teams to prepare and respond to disasters, we are also supporting the YRCS emergency health services.

We also provide support to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), helping them to reach people with safe drinking water, access to healthcare and emergency food.

Food and nutrition

The current level of hunger in Yemen is unprecedented. Despite ongoing humanitarian support, more than 17 million Yemenis are enduring extreme hunger.

This is primarily driven by people’s ability to afford basic food products, rather than availability of food. There have also been further impacts felt by the rise in global food prices, in part due to the Ukraine and Russia conflict, as well as the ability for humanitarian organisations like the World Food Programme and others to access food insecure areas.

Water and sanitation

Even before the current conflict, Yemen was one of the world’s most severely water-stressed countries. Years of conflict and neglected water infrastructure are depriving millions of Yemenis from access to clean and drinkable water. Millions of Yemenis, including women and children, need to walk for miles to collect water. The lack of access to clean water has in the past caused major health outbreaks, including the cholera outbreak that started in October 2016. 

Healthcare in Yemen

Nine years of humanitarian crises – from conflict to the impacts of COVID-19 – have left over 20 million people in Yemen struggling to access the medical care they need for both their physical and mental health.

Ongoing conflict has resulted in widespread damage to and destruction of hospitals and health centres. There are not enough trained medical staff in the country to support with the huge levels of need; and remaining clinics often report shortages of medicines.

Women and children are deeply affected by this lack of care. In particular, maternal healthcare remains a challenge across Yemen.

Many communities don’t have trust in local health centres and may be unlikely to seek formal healthcare, whilst also lacking skills within their communities to address urgent needs through first aid.

Trained expert staff at the centres ensure that people have access to the care they need. Each centre is stocked with critical equipment and medical supplies to ensure people can receive the treatment they need when they face ill health. To share information about the centres and improve access to health services, we also run community outreach programmes, as well as training volunteers in first aid.

To help the people of Yemen, donate to our Yemen Crisis Appeal.

Contact us for more information