Since 2010, our work in Yemen has helped vulnerable families and communities get better access to food and improve their nutrition. In 2017, we reached 3.7 million people with food assistance, clean water and more.
Yemen's current humanitarian crisis is the largest man-made crisis in the world. More than half of the population is severely food insecure and at risk of starvation because they’re unable to access and buy the food they need.
Meanwhile millions are fighting off a cholera outbreak. As conflict rages on, people are regularly at risk of violence or displacement from their homes. With closed airports and borders, fleeing populations cannot migrate anywhere, and are moving throughout the country.
Yemen is in the middle of an ongoing conflict that erupted in March 2015. The conflict has destroyed towns and cities across Yemen, exacerbating existing issues, displacing millions of people and disrupting the flow of the economy. Because of the ongoing conflict, which has depleted many natural sources, hunger is quickly spreading across the country. More than 17 million Yemeni — half the population — don't have enough to eat and are struggling to survive.
In addition, the economy is suffering. Even before conflict, Yemen was importing 80 percent of its food. The conflict has shut down ports, restricted imports and caused prices to skyrocket. Because much of the population lives in the mountain regions, they rely on farming not just to build their economy but also to feed their people. With the ongoing violent attacks, farmland has been obliterated, and natural resources are scarce.
The cost of living in Yemen has risen by 40 percent, yet the economy suffers from the lack of agricultural production. 75 percent of the country's food supply comes from imported goods, but with increased attacks happening around their sea borders, the chance for incoming food is growing slimmer.
With their minimal resources, the water found in Yemen has been compromised. This contaminated water has also led to catastrophe — a state of emergency was declared in the capital of Sana'a for a fast-paced cholera outbreak. More than 1 million cases of cholera have been reported since April 2017. In just one year, 2,000 deaths have occurred nationwide due to cholera — it’s now the largest outbreak in history.
Yemenis face many long-term challenges that will unfortunately only worsen their living conditions. A high population of young people, increasing unemployment, faulty water resources and severe lack of food are all problems in Yemen is facing.
Safety, nutrition and health are at stake in Yemen, which is why we're providing aid for the families most affected. Together we can help them meet the needs of today while building a stronger tomorrow.
Our team in Yemen consists of 245 members. More than 230 of these team members are from Yemen. Our team has been doing humanitarian work in Yemen since 2010 by helping those who are food insecure.
Our emergency response has been focused on providing food, clean water, supplies and education about diet and sanitation to families that have no access to food or clean water. Additionally, we’re providing programming for farmers and young people so they can build stronger livelihoods.
Our work in Yemen ensures that people can take care of their most urgent needs today while improving their livelihoods for tomorrow. Here are some of our results:
- We are providing food assistance to more than 350,000 people across six governorates.
- We are supplying safe drinking water for more than 20,000 people each day.
- We have delivered key health and hygiene messages that have reached more than 250,000 people.
- Over the past four years, we provided support for the treatment of almost 5,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition.
- We are helping 5,000 households with cash for work to help them build their economies, but also to inject money in their local markets.
How to help
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.
Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine (West Bank/Gaza), Yemen: How we're helping transform the Middle East
The recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt — and their ripple effects across North Africa and the Middle East — have reminded the world how powerful young people can be.
Yemen: Engaging youth for a peaceful and productive future
Mercy Corps opened offices in Yemen in October, 2010 to work with local partners to implement a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) program that engages young people in constructive community activities — thereby reducing their vulnerability to the negative influence of vio