War in Yemen

A displaced child lives with his family in a camp outside when he heard children playing in the middle of the camp. Credit: Abdullah Aljaradi/ICRC

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has been raging for more than six years, following a decade of localized armed conflicts, that have generated an unprecedented humanitarian and protection crisis throughout the country.

The level of violence across Yemen is still high. Multiple dynamic frontlines impact significantly on the civilian population, who is struggling with not only the consequences of the fighting but as well the consequences of a worsening economic situation. The fighting in Marib right now is only one example, where intense clashes have led to the displacement of hundreds of families, some displaced several times over.

Thousands of civilians have lost their lives or their properties and around 4 million had to move to safer areas. Thousands of people remain detained by the parties to the conflict and many others are missing.

Essential services have all but collapsed, leaving millions of Yemeni people in a catastrophic humanitarian situation. Due to the ongoing conflict and the subsequent economic crisis, Yemen faces the largest food security emergency in the world. Countrywide, approximately 20 million people—representing 66 percent of Yemen’s population—are experiencing a crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity and will likely continue to face a crisis or worse outcomes through 2021.

Only half of the health facilities are estimated to still be functional. The majority of people cannot afford medical treatment or lack access to health centers. The most recent analysis of the health centers supported by ICRC confirms an increase in child malnutrition cases.

Our priority in Yemen remains to assist victims of conflict and reinforce support to fragile essential systems. Much of the ICRC’s core humanitarian work and assistance in Yemen and elsewhere has taken on an added importance during the Covid-19 pandemic, such as our water and sanitation and our economic security programs. But only a political solution can bring an end to the suffering of the Yemeni people and prospects of hope for a better future.


Facts & Figures *

  • 70% of the population, 20.7 million people – out of a total population of 30.5 million – are now in need of humanitarian assistance. 12.1 million people are in acute need.
  • 16.2 million people are food insecure.
  • 4.71 million children and women are acutely malnourished.
  • The cost of living has skyrocketed. The price of a food basket (rice, lentils, milk, flour, beans, cooking oil, sugar, salt) has increased by 150%.
  • 15.4 million lack access to safe water and adequate sanitation services.
  • Only 51% of health facilities are functioning and less than 50% of births are attended by skilled health personnel.
  • An estimated 20.1 million people lack access to basic healthcare.

* Reference: OCHA & UNICEF