Yemen Humanitarian Crisis

Yemen Humanitarian Crisis

The situation

Years of conflict in Yemen have resulted in one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. More than 20 million people – two thirds of the population of Yemen – are in need of humanitarian support,  and 16 million people are food insecure.

This situation has not arisen overnight. Decades of recurrent upheaval, drought and chronic impoverishment preceded the violence in 2015. Today, basic needs such as safe drinking water and food are difficult to come by. Almost 18 million people don’t have access to safe water and adequate sanitation services. Over the years of conflict, the cost of living has skyrocketed. The cost of a food basket, which includes rice, lentils, milk, flour, beans, cooking oil, sugar and salt, has increased by 150 per cent.

Epidemics, pandemics, and communicable diseases are a major concern in Yemen. Beyond COVID-19, Yemen has seen the spread of cholera, diphtheria, dengue fever and even polio, seen for the first time since its eradication more than 20 years ago.

Red Cross Red Crescent Response

The Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS), with support from the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, is one of the few humanitarian organizations able to continue providing vital support to the Yemeni population. In a country where only half of healthcare facilities are functioning, YRCS is able to run health clinics in many parts of the country and provides support to other healthcare facilities.  Dedicated staff and volunteers also supply safe drinking water, and work to build and repair water and sanitation infrastructure. In addition, they promote good hygiene practices among the population to help mitigate potential disease outbreaks.

Support from Canadian Red Cross

With these immense needs, the Canadian Red Cross has increased its response to the Yemen Crisis. Much of this support has been to COVID-19 operations, with the overall goal of strengthening YRCS’s capacity to respond to future outbreaks.

Achievements and Priorities
  • Procured equipment and personal protective equipment for YRCS primary healthcare centres;
  • Provided non-food items, hygiene kits, food baskets and other essential items to those in need;
  • Supported community engagement activities;
  • Helped to build YRCS capacity to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including trainings for staff and volunteers, building emergency response teams and developing procedures;
  • Providing financial and technical support to the Yemen Red Crescent Society on topics such as public health in emergencies, cholera management, community-based monitoring, awareness-raising activities, and epidemic prevention and control; and,
  • Deploying Canadian Red Cross humanitarian specialists to Yemen, with a focus on health expertise.
You can support our ongoing work by donating to the Canadian Red Cross.