The humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in Yemen has received little media attention but video footage shot by a UNHCR worker reveals scenes of devastation tragically similar to those emerging from Syrian cities like Aleppo. With food supplies cut, more than two-thirds of Yemenis are struggling to feed themselves and more than 2 million children are chronically and severely malnourished. In the face of widespread loss of life, suffering and starvation, UNHCR is one of the few humanitarian agencies with an active presence on the ground. 

More than 10,000 civilians have been killed in the conflict and the country’s cities and towns now lie in ruins.

In a cruel double blow to the people, drought and severe food shortages have forced Yemen to the brink of famine.

The situation on the ground is quickly worsening as the conflict rages on, food supplies run low and water, health and hygiene services break down.

Anisah, a mother of seven, has struggled to provide for her children since conflict left her a widow and forced the family from their home. © UNHCR/ A. Al-Sharif

Seven-year-old Inaas helps her mother with the daily chores. Like many of Yemen’s children, she lost her father in the conflict. © UNHCR/ M. Hamoud

“Yemen is, without a doubt, one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today,” says UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler.

This is a silent emergency but the human cost has been enormous. The country’s infrastructure has been bombed – hospitals, schools, bridges, roads have been destroyed. Millions of people across the country are now chronically malnourished.”

Just as the crisis is escalating, some countries are closing their doors to refugees from Yemen.

UNHCR’s emergency teams are on the ground providing emergency nutrition and therapeutic foods to help address the alarming rates of child malnourishment.


Even the most severely malnourished child has a 98% chance of survival if they receive therapeutic feeding and care in time. Every donation has the potential to save a child’s life.

We are also delivering shelter and essential relief items like clean water and blankets to hundreds of thousands of displaced families in acute need.

But UNHCR’s operations in Yemen remain drastically underfunded – just 10% of the funds needed to supply life-saving aid to the people of Yemen have been provided so far.

You won’t see their suffering in the headlines, but together we can show the people of Yemen they haven’t been forgotten.

Please donate today to help UNHCR deliver them emergency shelter, food, water and healthcare.


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