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Yemen Humanitarian Crisis

A woman and her daughter sit on a bench in front of a light-colored brick wall.

CARE / Josh Estey

CARE / Josh Estey


The UN is calling the civil war in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

About the Yemen Crisis

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen remains the worst in the world. Six years of intense conflict and severe economic decline, combined with recent famine and cholera has put 66 percent of the population – 20.7 million people – in need of some form of assistance. This dire situation has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the UN, well over 200,000 people have been killed since 2015 by fighting, malnutrition, disease, and lack of basic services due to the war. More than 4 million people have been forced from their homes to seek shelter from disease and violence.

Women and children are already dying from malnutrition in Yemen, and the situation could grow far worse: 3.2 million people need treatment for acute malnutrition, including 2 million children under age 5. There are around 1.1 million malnourished pregnant and breast-feeding women, and more than 3.25 million women in Yemen are facing increased health and protection risks.

On top of this, there were 344,000 suspected cholera cases and 621 deaths in 2019. Of the total cases, 22 percent were children under age 5.

The war in Yemen is having a disproportionate impact on Yemeni women and girls, who are exposed to increased risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse while having a harder time accessing basic health care, including maternal and child health. Hunger and famine are a direct result of war and can only fully be eliminated by bringing the conflict to an end.

A woman wearing a red patterned hijab holds her young child on her hip. Her child is wearing a bright orange garment. Behind them is a white makeshift tent.
CARE / Ammar Awadh Omar Avadh Bamatraf

How to Help Yemen: What CARE is Doing

CARE is working tirelessly to reach those in need. While humanitarian agencies like CARE are reaching an unprecedented number of people, it is very difficult to operate in many areas of Yemen, particularly when trying to reach people trapped behind front lines or displaced from their homes.

CARE reaches 1.2 million people with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services including water trucking and hygiene kits. CARE works with communities on hygiene promotion to prevent the spread of deadly diseases like cholera and COVID-19.

We support women’s economic empowerment through improving their access to financial means, equipment, technical advice, and training so they can set up small businesses.

We distribute food, cash, and vouchers to 1.4 million people, enabling them to buy essential supplies for their families.

We work in reproductive health to train and equip midwives, rehabilitate maternity wards, and provide home delivery kits.

CARE empowers young people with education and vocational training to provide them with job opportunities.

CARE has been present in Yemen since 1992, and as a result we know the country very well. CARE has key staff based in all our area offices of Amran, Hajjah, Taiz, and Aden, which enables us to scale up our work in Yemen. Through cash and voucher transfers, CARE supports the most vulnerable and conflict-affected households to meet basic needs such as food.

*Last updated July 2021

Crisis in Yemen

In Yemen, a manmade crisis has left millions on the brink of famine. The UN is calling the civil war in Yemen the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

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