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The conflict in Yemen

Millions at risk of famine

The conflict between a Saudi-led coalition of Gulf countries and the Yemeni government against the Ansar-Allah movement, also known as the Houthis, has been going on since March 2015. More than four million people have been forced to flee their homes and 24 million people - 80% of Yemen's population - rely on emergency aid to survive. That's the largest number in any country in the world - and more than half of them children. Oxfam has been working in Yemen for over 30 years and the operation is one of our largest. 

The country's economy is in shambles. Homes, warehouses, agriculture and key parts of the civilian infrastructure have been destroyed and food prices continue to rise, while the poorest people have lost their incomes.

Oxfam is on the ground with life-saving efforts. With your support, we can reach even more people.

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Millions of people at risk of hunger and disease

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Mofadal has fled his home and is living in a camp in the town of Marib. He has two young children. His daughter suffers from malnutrition as the family cannot afford enough food and milk. Photo: Jehad Al-Nahary/Oxfam


The UN warns that Yemen is facing the worst famine the world has seen in decades. Before the war, Yemen imported about 90% of its food and most of its fuel. Then sea, land and air restrictions made imports more difficult, while markets, farms and water sources were shelled or bombed.

Food is now on average twice as expensive, which means that the poorest people suffer the most. More than half the people in Yemen do not have enough to eat. 7.4 million people - 25% of the population - suffer from malnutrition, two million of them children.

The country has been struggling with cholera since the worst outbreak in the world began five years ago. More than 2.1 million cases have been reported and the pandemic has further disrupted the already fragile health system.


"Even people who escape the missiles and bullets face a daily struggle to survive disease and misery. It's time for the world to say: enough is enough." 

- Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam Country Director, Yemen


The people of Yemen need peace. They need to rebuild their lives and live without the fear, devastation and poverty caused by the conflict.


Oxfam's effort

The operation in Yemen is one of Oxfam's largest. The war makes the work challenging, but we are determined to keep doing what it takes to save lives and to keep working for a fairer and better future for the people of Yemen. In total, Oxfam has reached over 3 million people in Yemen since 2015.

The work we are doing now includes ensuring that people displaced by the conflict have access to clean water and sanitation: engineering teams are fixing pipes, renovating water systems and building latrines. We are working with volunteers to carry out hygiene campaigns to raise awareness of cholera symptoms and how to prevent the spread of the disease. Our health teams also distribute hygiene kits consisting of soap and buckets.

People who have been forced to flee their homes receive cash grants to cover the most basic needs. We also support people to find jobs and earn an income, for example with training, support for small entrepreneurs and materials to help people start growing food.


Your help is needed!

For millions of Yemeni women, men and children, life is a daily struggle and violence is ever-present. We are on the ground with life-saving assistance but urgently need to reach many more. Your support is needed.

The simplest, and most cost-effective, way to change the lives of people in war, disaster and crisis is to become a monthly donor. This allows us to plan our work for the long term and to act where the needs are greatest. Together, we challenge injustice and oppression - and take the fight to a more just world.

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