Crisis in Yemen: Action Against Hunger’s Response

Crisis in Yemen

Photo: Photo: Florien Seriex for Action Against Hunger, Yemen

As Yemen enters its fourth year of war this week, 22 million people ─ more than 80 percent of the population ─ are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 10,000 lives have been lost as a result of the conflict between Al Houthi forces and government forces supported by an international coalition. The conflict has contributed to the collapse of the economy and basic services, as well as an elevated risk of famine and a massive cholera epidemic. Today, more than 8.4 million people are on the brink of starvation.

In a statement this week, UNICEF called Yemen “one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has ever known,”  placing it among the three countries in the world with the highest number of acutely malnourished children.

A blockade on Yemen’s ports that started in November 2017 cut off crucial imports of food, fuel, medicines, and humanitarian relief supplies in a country where 90 percent of the population depends on imports for survival. Despite partial reopening of ports, the prices of essential goods such as rice have skyrocketed by as much as 130 percent between January 2015 and January 2018.

According to warnings from UNICEF, more than 11 million Yemeni children are in acute need of humanitarian assistance ─ nearly every child in the country. An estimated 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished, including nearly 400,000 severely acutely malnourished children.

“People are exhausted. Hundreds of thousands do not know where their next meal or paycheck is coming from, or if their children will be cared for. This must stop.”
Lapo Samigli, Action Against Hunger Country Director, Yemen



Despite access and security challenges, Action Against Hunger has been present in Yemen since 2012. Our 260-strong team is currently providing humanitarian assistance in the areas of Abyan, Hajjah, Hodeidah and Lahij.  Thanks to your support last year, our emergency programs are delivering lifesaving treatment to severely malnourished children, improving families’ access to food, and delivering vital clean water and sanitation to communities.


  • We perform health screenings and provide lifesaving treatment for malnourished children under five years of age.
  • We provide health screenings for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, as well as pre- and post-natal screenings for malnutrition, and we micronutrient supplements.



  • Where local markets are still functioning, we distribute cash and food vouchers to enable families to meet their daily survival needs.
  • Where markets no longer exist, we provide food assistance and essential relief supplies.



  • In communities, schools, and healthcare centers, we build and repair water sources and latrines to improve access to safe water and sanitation
  • To prevent the spread of waterborne disease, we educate communities about sanitation and hygiene, and distribute hygiene kits and ceramic water filters.


On the ground

Mohammed Awn, Action Against Hunger Deputy Nutrition Survey Program Manager, Yemen
“My own people’s suffering motivates me to work hard and to be a better person. I am trying to help them and to carry out a better life.”

Caitlin Cockroft, Action Against Hunger Head of Mental Health and Care Practices, Yemen
“In Yemen, people can’t leave. They’re stuck. They’re sitting targets, and this is why this can’t continue.”

Please help children in crisis by making an emergency gift.

Right now, more than 11 million Yemeni children are in need of humanitarian assistance─nearly every child in the country.
A gift of $45 today can save a child’s life.
Now is the time to step up for children who are doing everything they can to survive a real-life nightmare of conflict, loss, hunger, and uncertainty. They need help—and we must be there for them.