Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen

Crisis in Yemen

The country faces a triple threat of conflict, famine and cholera

A humanitarian emergency

More than 22 million people are in dire need of assistance

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About the Yemen Crisis

Yemen currently has the greatest level of humanitarian needs in the world. Since armed conflict erupted in March 2015,  22.2 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance among which 11.3 million are in acute need of immediate assistance to save or sustain life, mostly women and children. 

The conflict has resulted in over 10,000 deaths and two million people displaced, looking for shelter from disease and violence. Yemenis are struggling to survive as fuel, food and medical supplies are critically low due to the closure of land, sea and air routes. Just 14% of national fuel requirements have arrived in country since the end of March putting 10 million people at risk of losing access to water. Over 12 million people are going hungry as wheat and other staples are in increasingly short supply. More than 15 million are without access to health care as most hospitals have shut down due to lack of medical supplies and power cuts. 

In addition to constant threat from violence and conflict, an aggressive strain of cholera has broken out, with 1,035,676 suspected cases with with 2,224 associated deaths registered since April 2017. Children are particularly vulnerable, as their small systems and malnourished bodies cannot fight the disease. 

The United Nations and other NGOs in Yemen have demanded the airport in Sana'a be reopened, as other foreign militaries have restricted food and medicine from being delivered, literally starving out innocent Yemenis.


CARE's Response

CARE has been working in Yemen since 1992, and is currently providing humanitarian assistance through water, sanitation and hygiene services and reproductive health services to needy populations in Yemen. 

Water is one of the most critical needs in Yemen. CARE is trucking in water and installing water tanks, as well as, distributing hygiene kits in vulnerable neighborhoods in Yemen. With over 15 million people unable to access healthcare, CARE is also providing safe birthing kits for pregnant women and mothers with young children. We have reached more than a million and half people with our food aid and WASH programs (water, sanitation and hygiene).

Price and availability of food and fuel further worsened in December 2017 mainly due to the blockade and escalated conflicts and airstrikes. Although the blockade has been partially lifted, it still partially remains and is still resulting in rising prices and reduced access to food and basic commodities. Sustained commercial access at scale is critical, with exchange rates and inflation fluctuating wildly.

A political solution is now even more critical as we see warring parties splinter. The ongoing violence is making humanitarian access to those most in need extremely challenging, and CARE continues to call on all parties to the conflict and the international community to prioritize the access and delivery of life-saving supplies to the affected people in Yemen.

*Updated April 2018

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How CARE works in emergencies


In 2011 alone, CARE reached 12 million people affected by natural disasters, conflict situations and other crises.


In emergencies, CARE is among the first to arrive and the last to leave. When it comes to responding to an emergency, timing is crucial.