Yemen: The Crisis

After more than five years of escalating conflict, Yemen continues to face an unprecedented humanitarian, social and economic crisis. This short summary of the extremely complex Yemen Crisis has been put together through multiple credible sources including The World Bank, United Nations Foundation, Mercy Corps, Yemen Aid, ACLED Data and more.

Source: ECFR (2015): Mapping Yemen,

Source: ECFR (2015): Mapping Yemen,


After more than three years of devistating conflict, Yemen is continuing to face an unprecedented humanitarian, social and economic crisis. (The World Bank, 2018)

Since March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has been fighting anti-government Ansar Allah forces, resulting in widespread bombing, killing and gun battles.

Recent outbreaks of diseases such as cholera and diphtheria and an upsurge in fighting have exacerbated the already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. (MSF, 2019)

humanitarian catastrophe

The humanitarian situation is grave: over 3 million people have been forced to flee from their homes, of which 2 million remain displaced .  About 75% – some 22.2 million people –  require humanitarian assistance, more than half of them (11.3 million) require acute assistance, an increase of 1 million since July 2017. Close to a third of Yemen’s 333 districts are sliding into famine, representing an increase of 13% since April 2017.   

Nationwide, some 1.8 million children and 1.1 million pregnant or lactating women are acutely malnourished. This number includes 400,000 children under the age of five who are severely malnourished. Some 16 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation, and 18 million lack access to adequate healthcare. Local institutions that provide basic health and nutrition services are struggling to provide services at even the most basic level. Only half of all health facilities are functioning, and even these face severe shortages in medicines, equipment, and staff. At least two million children, nearly 27% of those of school age, are out of school, with more than 1,690 schools currently unfit for use.  (The World Bank, Jan 2019)


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Other figures

  • Nearly 22 million people in Yemen in need of humanitarian aid and protection (United Nations Foundation, Oct 2018)

  • Numbers are understated, death toll figure is regularly reported at 10,000 dead in three and a half years. This figure has remained static since the UN released it in early 2017 (Independent, Oct 2018)

  • Recent count has found that 60,000 people have been killed in Yemen since early 2016 (ACLED, Dec 2018)

  • This number is increasing by 2000 per month

  • This figure does not include those dying of malnutrition or cholera

  • According to Oxfam, a civilian is killed every 3 seconds (Independent, Oct 2018)

  • A war that’s already claimed many lives, and has displaced more than three million (MSF, 2019)