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We have been working in Yemen since 2010. Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, faces deep, systemic problems that have resulted in protracted conflicts throughout the country for many years.
In March of 2015, violent clashes between government and non-government forces erupted, fueling ongoing warfare that has since forced almost 3 million people from their homes and left 17 million people — 68 percent of the population — in need of humanitarian aid. Get the quick facts about the crisis in Yemen ▸
Yemen is now at risk of famine. 14.1 million people, more than half the population, do not have enough to eat. Two years of war have devastated huge segments of the population and exacerbated food insecurity.
The cholera epidemic in Yemen is now the largest and fastest-spreading outbreak of disease in modern history. In May of 2017, authorities declared a state of emergency in the capital city of Sana’a following an outbreak of cholera, compounding the already dire situation in much of the country. 2,000 cholera deaths have been reported since April 2017. The numbers of affected individuals is at more than 500,000 and growing exponentially — the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 7.6 million people in Yemen live in areas at high risk of cholera transmission. By the end of the year, at least 1 million people, including 600,000 children, are likely to be affected.
Because cholera is a water-borne illness, we’re working to address this deadly issue by rehabilitating community water infrastructure and improving sanitation and hygiene practices.
Agricultural production has drastically declined while the cost of living has risen 40%. Yemen relies on imports for 90% of its food supply. As conflict intensifies, food access will only become more limited and the situation more desperate. Get the quick facts about famine ▸
The situation is already so dire that a child under the age of five dies every ten minutes from preventable causes, including hunger, disease and violence.
- Emergency response: Providing food and hygiene supplies, and increasing access to water and sanitation for the most vulnerable families.
- Agriculture & Food: Distributing food vouchers. Helping sesame farmers increase their yields.
- Water: Constructing and rehabilitating water systems, irrigation channels, toilet facilities and other community infrastructure. Promoting proper hygiene in schools and communities.
- Economic opportunity: Providing urgently needed income through cash-for-work projects and creating new livelihoods through cash transfers and vocational training.
All stories about Yemen
Yemen: A witness to distress in beautiful land
Since Mercy Corps began working in Yemen in October 2010, we have kept our main office in the capital city of Sana’a. I see more and more women and young girls begging for food on the streets. Last month, nearly 100 soldiers were killed here by a suicide bomb.
Yemen: Relief and development in the slums of the forgotten
Called akhdam, “the servants,” by their fellow countrymen — and muhamashyn, “the marginalised,” by organizations working to help them — Yemen’s outcasts stand outside of the nation’s already tumultuous social, economic and political life.
Yemen: Hadeel's journey from student to staff
Hadeel’s story is one of new beginnings. Born and raised in Aden, a major city on Yemen’s southeast coast, Hadeel was previously a professional volleyball player. He was even chosen for Yemen’s national team. But a few years ago, a tragic accident forced him to reconsider his career.
Yemen: New food program prevents kids from going hungry
Milk? Vegetables? Women from Mawza District in central Yemen laugh. “We dream about the taste of milk, vegetables and fruits.” The reason? Mafi fuloos, they answer — no money.
Yemen: A fresh coat of paint can make all the difference
Yemen’s youth are demanding change across the country on a large scale, but I’ve also seen them bring it in their communities one improvement at a time.
Yemen: Humanitarian needs demand urgent attention
Yemen: Assessing needs in Yemen
Veteran aid workers Richard Jaquot and Mugur Dumitrache recently visited Yemen to assess the prospects for helping supply water, provide work opportunities, and support the psychosocial needs of communities impacted by the country's mulitple crises.
Yemen: Emergency responders deployed to help conflict-displaced families
Mercy Corps has deployed two emergency specialists to Yemen to evaluate ways in which the agency can help the growing number of families there displaced by conflict.
Yemen: Addressing conflict by helping youth
As Yemen continues to grapple with political turmoil and multiple conflicts, Mercy Corps is hoping that engaging youth in their communities can help the country realize a brighter future.
Yemen: Helping youth connect to opportunity in Yemen
Umelto (Alto) Labetubun is Mercy Corps' representative in Yemen, our newest country program. Originally from Ambon, Indonesia, Alto began working for Mercy Corps in 2000, when his home island was rocked by a sectarian conflict that killed thousands and displaced more than a half-million people.