The Yemen crisis is a humanitarian catastrophe.

After six years of conflict, Yemen remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. It is now further compounded by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the threat of cholera, ongoing conflict and economic collapse. More than 20 million people need humanitarian assistance across the country.

Yemen is now in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for 4 decades. Without immediate action, millions of lives may be lost. This is just one of the many humanitarian crises now at tipping point, where UNHCR is urgently scaling up response. Time is crucial.

For people in Yemen and also in the Tigray region on the Horn of Africa, food insecurity is the major concern – they are on the brink of famine. To read more about the situation in the Tigray region, please click here.

In Yemen, more than 16 million will go hungry this year. The most urgent task in Yemen today is to prevent widespread famine on a scale we have not seen for 40 years.

"Unless the situation improves, hunger, epidemics and other humanitarian catastrophes are likely to grow in Yemen."

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

Yemen’s economy has disintegrated and half the country’s hospitals and health facilities have been destroyed in the fighting. With a population weakened by poverty and malnutrition, and many living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions, physical distancing and regular handwashing is virtually impossible.

Please give generously to help refugees and internally displaced people in Yemen who face ongoing conflict, starvation and disease as the conflict in the region escalates.

By donating today, you can help families in Yemen access:

  • Emergency health care and nutrition
  • Vital protection assistance including emergency and transitional shelters
  • Cash assistance to help pay for food and rent
  • Relief items such as shelter kits, mattresses and blankets

UNHCR staff have made the commitment to "stay and deliver" despite enormous challenges. But we cannot do it alone.

“With your help we can make a difference in the lives of those families. We can provide them with a bit of cash so they can buy food for their children or medicine for their elderly parents.”

Jean-Nicolas Beuze, UNHCR Representative in Yemen.

Please help families in Yemen


Your donations in action

Shamha, a displaced Yemeni child, is recovering from malnutrition with the help of UNHCR

Food Food

Mariam and Sukaina want nothing more than an education

Education Education

UNHCR has managed to secure access to Mokha.

Supplies Supplies

Ahmed helps his family collect UNHCR aid items in Taiz, Yemen.

Supplies Supplies

Get the facts about our impact

Shelter Shelter Shelter
Food Food Food
Education Education Education
Protection Protection Protection
Cash Assistance Cash Assistance Cash Assistance
Supplies Supplies Supplies

Providing Shelter

UNHCR provides refugees with emergency shelter — tents, tarpaulins and demountable housing — in the immediate aftermath of displacement. More broadly, we are responsible for site planning and camp management to ensure refugee settlements are economically, socially and environmentally sustainable. For those living outside camps, UNHCR funds the rehabilitation of communal shelters, the construction of new homes and rental assistance for those in urban situations. UNHCR also provides materials that displaced people need to build a home themselves under self-help schemes.

Providing Food 

Malnutrition is a common consequence of conflict and displacement. UNHCR works with the World Food Programme (WFP) to ensure that all refugees have access to adequate nutrient-rich food. UNHCR assists with the distribution of food rations in camps and provide urban refugees with vouchers and cash assistance for the purchase of food and groceries. In acute situations, UNHCR supports emergency nutrition and therapeutic feeding programs, supplying fortified milks and ready-to-use therapeutic foods.

Providing Education

Education is a crucial part of refugee relief, even in emergencies. School provides a safe and stable environment for children, restoring their sense of normality and routine, and allowing them to receive important health and safety messages. Education also helps people rebuild their communities and pursue productive, meaningful lives. Where refugees live in the community, UNHCR negotiates with governments to allow them access to local schools. In refugee camps, UNHCR promotes education for children and adults, operating schools and vocational training programs.

Providing Protection

Children and families fleeing violence, war, disaster or persecution can be very vulnerable. UNHCR supplies displaced people with essential items, food and shelter to protect them from having to make dangerous decisions to survive. On a larger scale, UNHCR negotiates safe passage, asylum spaces and humanitarian access, upholding the rights of refugees and minimising the threat of violence, including sexual assault.

During the registration process, UNHCR workers identify displaced Yemenis who may be in need of additional protection. These include unaccompanied children, children at risk of being subjected to child labour, and survivors of gender-based violence. Protection outreach teams also visit hospitals in search of injured refugees and displaced people, and monitor houses accommodating the war-wounded. This allows them to identify people in need of specific support or legal assistance.

Providing Cash Assistance

Most refugees live in places where they have access to markets and services in the same way that local communities do. Providing refugees with cash, by way of a secure biometric system, enables them to make decisions about their personal needs. This also helps prevent refugees being forced into desperate measures such as undertaking dangerous journeys, taking children out of school or survival sex. Cash assistance also helps refugees to support the local economy, aiding social integration.

Humanitarian access is a major concern in Yemen. UNHCR has established new partnerships with local organisations in order to reach more people affected by the crisis. UNHCR uses cash-based interventions to provide protection, assistance and services to the most vulnerable. Cash and vouchers help the displaced meet their specific needs for food, water, healthcare and shelter and allow them to establish and support their livelihoods.

Providing Supplies

UNHCR distributes life-sustaining items such as mattresses, blankets, kitchen sets, jerry cans, stoves and fuel, soap and other sanitary items to refugees under its care. These supplies are tailored to the specific needs of the refugee population: for example, winterisation kits are distributed in camps and communities where sub-zero temperatures occur. UNHCR maintains global stockpiles of core relief items for immediate delivery in emergency situations.

UNHCR has distributed relief items including blankets, sleeping mats, buckets, plastic sheeting, kitchen sets, tents and emergency shelter kits to hundreds of thousands of displaced people inside Yemen. As part of its winterisation program, UNHCR sends protection outreach teams to conduct home visits and assess living conditions. The most vulnerable families receive thermal blankets and advice on how to prepare for winter storms.

Get the latest statistics on the emergency in Yemen.

Read More

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