Responding to the crisis in Yemen

Workers clear waste and debris as part of a UNDP emergency employment programme. Photo: UNDP Yemen

As the conflict in Yemen enters a second year, UNOCHA reports that over 82 percent of the Yemeni population, 21.2 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance. In a country already struggling with widespread poverty, the conflict is compounding difficulties in meeting basic needs such as food, water, healthcare and shelter.


  • 82 percent of the Yemeni people are in need of humanitarian assistance, lacking access to basic needs like food and shelter.
  • With food prices soaring, 50 percent are facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • UNDP works with local and international partners to build resilience in Yemen by supporting communities and key institutions.
  • The Yemen Resilience Programme aims to restore livelihoods, social cohesion and security and pave the way toward sustainable recovery.

Since fighting escalated in March 2015, more than 6,200 people have been killed, including more than 3,200 civilians. Some 2.7 million people have been forced to flee their homes. This includes 2.5 million who are internally displaced within the country's borders and tens of thousands who have sought refuge in neighbouring Somalia and Djibouti.

Yemen's public services have collapsed, and the price of basics such as food, fuel, and cooking gas have soared. Having lost their sources of income, many Yemeni families are unable to afford food or fuel. Half are facing severe food insecurity and malnutrition.

Before the war, Yemen ranked 154 out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index and had the highest levels of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy in the Arab States region. The protracted conflict is rolling back progress on human development, widening gender disparities and undermining the rule of law and access to justice.

UNDP's Response: Yemen Resilience Programme

UNDP is working with local and international partners to build resilience in Yemen by supporting communities and key institutions to lay the foundation for recovery and state-building.

The objective of the Yemen Resilience Programme (2016-2018) is to restore livelihoods, social cohesion and security and pave the way for stabilization and sustainable recovery in Yemen. The programme currently focuses its activities in six governorates (Abyan, Aden, Hajjah, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Taizz).

In addition to the long-term Yemen Resilience Programme, UNDP has been present in Yemen since the onset of the conflict, providing early recovery interventions that complement the humanitarian response of other UN agencies and partners.

Key objectives:

- Strengthen community-based structures and systems, restore and expand access to basic and social services

- Increase opportunities for livelihoods and self-reliance through emergency employment, recovery and development of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and social business with a focus on the most vulnerable populations (youth, women)

- Enhance community security, informal justice mechanisms, community-based dialogue and social cohesion

- Clear mines and unexploded ordnance, prioritizing essential social infrastructure, residential areas and agricultural lands

UNDP’s development approach focuses on building resilience and ensuring that communities not only recover from the crisis, but also improve the longer-term development prospects needed to move toward a lasting peace.

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