Yemen Yemen

Yemen currently has the greatest level of humanitarian need in the world. Donate now.

Yemen currently has the greatest level of humanitarian need in the world. Donate now.

CARE has been continuously active in Yemen since 1993, with projects that work towards reducing poverty.

In Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the world, more than six years of civil war has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. As the conflict continues, food is running out, clean water is difficult to find, and for the 20 million people in need, health services, jobs, or a means of earning an income are non-existent. And now COVID-19 is presenting the all-too-familiar threat of the spread of disease.

CARE’s work in Yemen has a common focus on community self-help and women’s empowerment, including women’s literacy, water management, capacity building of local organisations, emergency response, and relief assistance to people forced to flee their homes.

Fast Facts

Population:  28.03 million (July 2017 est.)
Life expectancy:  65.9 years (63.7 years male, 68.2 years female) (2017 est.)
Infant mortality:  46 deaths/1,000 live births (2017 est.)
Maternal mortality: 385 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Adult literacy rate:  70.1% (85.1% male, 55% female) (2015 est.)
Access to improved drinking water:  54.9% (72% urban, 46.5% rural)
Access to improved sanitation:  53.3% (92.5% urban, 34.1% rural)
Labour force participation rate^:  73% male, 20% female (2013 est.)
Percentage of seats held by women in national parliament^: 17%
GDP per capita:  $2,300 (2017 est.)

Source: CIA World Factbook, *UNICEF, ^World Bank

Fighting the spread of COVID-19

The ongoing conflict in Yemen has damaged hospitals, schools, roads, ports and electricity supplies, making it incredibly difficult to respond to this crisis. Twelve-year-old Malak is terrified of her family catching the virus.

“The situation is so bad with coronavirus. A lot of people died. Many people lost their jobs. Schools are closed and we can’t study,” says Malek. I am so worried about my family getting sick from coronavirus. My brother, Ala, works as a doctor’s assistant. My family and I are always worried about him.

CARE is providing hygiene kits, clean water and nutritious food to families and promoting safety and hygiene awareness to help people protect themselves against the coronavirus and help communities slow the spread.

Malak is grateful for the tips she has received from CARE to help stay safe: “I learnt how to wash my hands in the correct way, to put distance between me and other people and to cover my mouth and nose with a mask. Since then I’ve been teaching my friends how to wash their hands correctly.”

Please make a donation to help Yemen today.


The worst cholera outbreak in the world

The other disease Yemen is facing is cholera – which spreads rapidly when communities don’t have supplies of clean water. 

CARE is providing lifesaving food, water and medical supplies to those in need, thousands of whom will suffer from disease outbreaks if they cannot get assistance.

More than one million Yemenis are already believed to have been infected with cholera, and more than 2,200 have died as a result.

The World Health Organisation has called it “the worst cholera outbreak in the world”. Families are at a greater risk of death as they face the combined threats of conflict, famine and cholera.

Improving health services

As a result of the prolonged conflict, critical water infrastructure in Yemen has been destroyed. Additionally, the large-scale and prolonged displacement of millions of people is putting pressure on existing infrastructure that is now shared between those displaced and the communities that host them.

Women and girls in Yemen are forced to walk long distances – often several times a day – to collect safe water. Where water is available for sale, it is often too expensive and therefore inaccessible to the majority of Yemenis who are also struggling through harsh economic times.

CARE is responding by trucking water to communities in hard to reach areas, installing water tanks closer to community settlements, and rehabilitating water schemes and water supply networks that have been neglected or destroyed in the conflict. We’ve distributed hygiene kits, and trained community members on better hygiene practices in a bid to combat outbreaks of cholera, dengue and scabies.

©Eman Al-Awami/CARE

Supporting livelihoods

Food security in Yemen has been made worse by a dwindling economy, restrictions on food imports, disruption of markets and the lack of regular income opportunities for a vast majority of the population.

The cost of basic food commodities in Yemen has increased due to economic instability and reduction of food imports, leaving many Yemenis unable to afford to feed their families.

In order to improve food security, CARE distributes nutritional food baskets to vulnerable households every two months and provides food vouchers to families. Since March 2015, over a million people have been reached through these initiatives.

Women and girls empowerment

Due to prevailing social norms, women and girls have continued to face barriers when attempting to access community services and economic opportunities. CARE’s economic empowerment programs are aimed at creating opportunities and enhancing women’s inclusion and participation in society. This is achieved through increasing skill sets and knowledge, and enhancing an individual’s potential for self-employment and entrepreneurship.

Ongoing training has been provided to women on life skills, financial literacy, and business development skills, along with continuous mentorship and support to those starting their own business.

©Eman Al-Awami/CARE
©Thana Faroq/CARE

A daily struggle to survive in Yemen

Noor*, 25, lives in a small village in northwest Yemen. Noor, like millions of people in Yemen, struggles on a daily basis to survive.

Since the war in Yemen started almost three years ago, life has become more complicated for Noor and her family. Most of Yemen’s infrastructure has been destroyed, and many schools have been damaged. Her husband Ahmed’s school is still intact, but many civil servants like him have not received their salaries for months. Without income, Noor’s husband was not able to feed the children or buy medicine. “I constantly worry and cry at night. My husband and my daughter need medicine. But we just do not have any money to afford it. My husband cannot control his behaviour or actions when he doesn’t take his medicine.”

“CARE started working in my village when I was in hospital in Hajjah. The community committees selected my husband in Cash for Work activities. He helps to repair water pipes and raise awareness about preventing cholera. For his work, he receives some money. Now I am able to pay for the cost of transportation to take my daughter to Hajjah hospital and buy medicine for my husband. He is doing so much better again.”

With her small daughter in her arms and tears in her eyes, Noor says, “My daughter Amal now is able to play with her brothers and sisters even. She can’t speak, but she is active and happy.”

*Names have been changed.

Donate now

Support our ongoing work to create a more equal world.

Your donation can help end extreme poverty and give people the means to build a better future for themselves in countries like Yemen.

For those living in extreme poverty, your support brings education and training, healthcare and clean water, nutritious food, and new ways to earn an income. And in times of crisis, you help us deliver emergency relief. Please donate today.

Read more about our ongoing impact in Yemen:

– More CARE evaluation reports from Yemen and other countries are available at CARE’s Electronic Evaluation Library.

Banner image: ©Eman Al-Awami/CARE