Our work in Yemen | Action Against Hunger

Yemen Crisis

An estimated 462,000 children are suffering life-threatening malnutrition.

We are treating malnourished children, improving families’ access to food and delivering vital water services

People we helped in 2015


Yemen is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.  A conflict between Al Houthi forces and government forces and an international coalition started in March 2015. Amid surging violence and heavy airstrikes in Yemen, millions of families are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

The ongoing violence and insecurity has pushed the nation into a devastating humanitarian crisis. Even prior to the recent upsurge in violence families were facing severe hardship in Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world.

Child malnutrition rates are among the highest and an estimated 14.1 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal will come from. Women and children are particularly vulnerable due to the breakdown of health services, poor water and sanitation, and insufficent access to health services, particularly in rural areas. The UN estimates 80 per cent of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Huge needs

An estimated 3.2 million people have been internally displaced since the conflict escalated  - mainly women and children - and an estimated 14.1 million Yemenis do not know where their next meal will come from. 462,000 children are at risk of life-threatening malnutrition. In Hodeidah governate alone, a shocking one in three children suffer from severe acute malnutrition. 

“The humanitarian situation in Yemen is devastating for millions of families. An estimated 462,000 children are at risk of life-threatening malnutrition there and the situation only seems to be deteriorating. We are treating malnourished children who are in a more severe condition and are older than those we treated prior to the conflict - this demonstrates the seriousness of the crisis.” 
Jean-Michel Grand, Executive Director, Action Against Hunger

The conduct of the conflict has had serious consequences on civilians with all parties failing to take adequate steps to fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law, making humanitarian access extremely challenging.

"Civilians are the first to suffer from the lack of respect for the fundamental rules of international humanitarian law: indiscriminate bombing and airstrikes, ceasefire ignorance, schools and health facilities being occupied by armed groups, the destruction of civilian infrastructure."
Lucile Grosjean, Advocacy Manager, Action Against Hunger

What we are doing

Our teams are continuing to support and treat children with the most serious form of malnutrition amid blockades, bombings and continuous displacement. Despite access and security challenges we have been present in Yemen since 2012, treating malnourished children and improving families’ access to food.

Our 170-strong team are currently implementing programmes in Abyan, Hajjah, Hodeidah and Lahij. These programmes aim to treat malnourished children within their communities while improving access to clean water and sanitation. We enhance access to food through cash transfer programmes and by increasing access to agricultural assets. 

We also work in partnership with schools and health centres to improve access to water and sanitation, provide hygiene training to avoid the spread of waterborne disease, and distribute basic hygiene kits.

In 2015, our teams provided health and nutrition services to 86,636 people, helped 106,445 people improve their access to food and income, and delivered essential water and sanitation services to 76,945 people.

Yemen is one of the most forgotten humanitarian crises worldwide. Children and their families need urgent help.

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Photo credits: © F. Seriex for Action Against Hunger

Related reading

Yemen Emergency | Give now | Action Against Hunger


Number of children suffering from severe acute malnutrition
Number of food-insecure people
14.1 million