Read caption A former resident of Sada'a who fled his home due to airstrikes and now lives in a collective centre in Harf Sufian. Photo: NRC/Nuha Mohammed

NRC in Yemen

Yemen currently represents the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe and a situation that continues to deteriorate. The effects of the war, including economic collapse, have left 20.7million people in need of aid and protection. NRC responds to emergency needs in Yemen by providing communities with information and resources that enable self-reliance and preserve dignity.


Total # of refugees from the country:
Total # of refugees to the country:
Total # of internally displaced:
New refugees from the country in 2016:
New refugees to the country in 2016:
New internally displaced in 2016:
Source: UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). The figures are from the beginning of 2017.

In 2016 NRC have reached


Individuals, with food security, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene and education.

Our impact

We deliver programs in food security, shelter, education, and water, sanitation and hygiene across eight of Yemen’s 22 governorates.

NRC reached more than 1.2 million Yemeni people with lifesaving assistance during 2016 and will extend to close to one million this year. Wherever possible, we seek to integrate programs so that people in need have access to information, resources and services that ensure survival, protection and dignity.

Our programmes promote safety and protection for displacement-affected communities and are accountable to the people with whom we work.

Humanitarian and political background

An entirely man-made catastrophe

The dire humanitarian situation in Yemen is an entirely man-made catastrophe. By mid 2017, 20.7 million Yemenis needed some form of humanitarian or protection assistance, many due to a breakdown in existing support systems and deterioration of all basic services.

Damaged infrastructure, a crumbling economy and constant bureaucratic constraints continue to intensify the crisis and create notable challenges for the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

5,676 airstrikes and close to 3,000 ground clashes were recorded through the first half of 2017, contributing to large numbers of civilian deaths, injury and the sustained displacement of more than two million Yemeni people.

While lengthy bureaucratic processes continue to impede the delivery of supplies to people in need, millions of Yemeni people remain at greater risk of famine, illness and death.

The world’s largest humanitarian crisis

More than 14.5 million Yemenis are now without access to safe water and basic healthcare.

Less than half of Yemen’s health facilities are still functioning and more than 1,700 have been closed as the result of damage from airstrikes and ground fighting, use by armed groups, or use by displaced people who have lost their homes. Two million school-aged children are now unable to attend school each day.

The specific needs of women and girls have become more acute. Protracted conflict, displacement and loss of livelihoods is increasing the risk of sexual and gender-based violence, including early marriage and exploitative labour.

Despite the magnitude of Yemen’s crisis, humanitarian agencies have received only 41% of the $2.33 billion needed to address acute needs in 2017, translating to just $44.40 for each person in need of assistance.

Cholera: One symptom of the crisis

The proliferation of cholera across 21 of Yemen’s 22 governorates denotes the enormity of a broader crisis that has left Yemenis without access to safe water, nutritious food and adequate health care.

Yemen’s unprecedented cholera crisis is projected to have reached 700,000 suspected cases by the end of 2017 including 2,500 fatalities. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are grossly overrepresented in cholera statistics.

By July 2017, the price of basic food had risen by 31.3% since the escalation of violence in March 2015, leaving more than 17 million people food insecure, contributing to the risk of famine for almost 7 million, and exacerbating vulnerability to cholera and other diseases.

Only a political solution can arrest and reverse the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. In the meantime, humanitarian organisations are doing all possible to reach Yemeni people in critical need.

People we helped in Yemen in 2016

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our WASH programme

NRC activities in the field

Since 2012, NRC has been delivering lifesaving assistance to people affected by displacement in Yemen.

NRC adapted to the rapid shift in context from March 2015 to respond to new and everemerging needs. In 2016, we reached 1,214,898 people across Yemen with programs that reduced suffering and persevered dignity. As of July 2017, we have reached more than 576,231 people with shelter, clean water, food and opportunities for education.

Wherever possible, we provide people in need with choices that promote dignity and selfreliance. We seek to buy and employ locally, recognising skills and systems that exist within the communities we support.


Education represents the most neglected sector within Yemen’s humanitarian crisis. Displacement, attacks and misuse of schools have left two million children without access to education. We are committed to working with key ministries, local authorities, children and their communities to improve access to school for displaced children and host communities in hard-to-reach areas.

We restore access to education by:

  • Rehabilitating and constructing classrooms and other facilities
  • Training teachers and other education staff to provide quality education
  • Distributing scholastic materials to children Providing sanitary kits to girls to promote their participation
  • Working with communities to keep schools safe


food-securityFood security

The cost of food has increased dramatically since the beginning of Yemen’s conflict and is now beyond the reach of many Yemeni families. NRC responds to emergency food needs, working with communities to allow Yemenis to move back towards self-reliance.

We support improved access to safe, nutritious food by:

  • Distributing food
  • Providing unconditional cash transfers to families in need
  • Providing start-up capital and training for youth and women entrepreneurs
  • Supporting trainings on food security and agricultural production
  • Providing livelihood and rehabilitation support for people returning home


ICLAInformation, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA) 

Through 2017, in recognition of the significant gap in Information Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) responses in Yemen, we have worked to strengthen our protection-related programming and expand our ICLA footprint.

We facilitate ICLA support to communities by:

  • Informing people of their legal rights
  • Assisting people to access critical identity documents
  • Referring people for practical support with housing, land and property issues
  • Establishing community-based protection networks
  • Advocating for policy changes that affect peoples’ rights


Our shelter interventions aim at improving living conditions for conflict-affected families. We recognise that most displaced people in Yemen rely on support from extended family, friends and other community networks, and seek to ensure people can live with privacy and dignity.

We invest in creating safe, appropriate living conditions by:

  • Supplying basic household items including blankets, mattresses, jerry cans and kitchen utensils
  • Constructing emergency temporary shelters
  • Upgrading shelters for displaced people residing in existing homes
  • Improving shelters to create safe space for those living in public buildings


WASHWater, hygiene and sanitation (WASH)

The Water and Sanitation sector in Yemen continues to face enormous challenges. The conflict is placing immense pressure on water supplies and creating a breakdown in sanitation services across both urban and rural areas. We are working with communities to ensure that water is stored and managed safely.

We ensure people in Yemen can access safe water by:

  • Rehabilitating water supply systems in both the urban or rural settings
  • Developing water supply wells for water abstraction
  • Trucking safe water communities in areas with acute emergencies.
  • Conducting hygiene information dissemination for improved hygiene practices
  • Improving sanitation facilities
  • Constructing latrines/toilets that meet the sanitation needs of the displacementaffected households


About nrc in Yemen

Budget 2017
154 Million NOK
International staff
Field offices
Sana’a, Hajjah, Hudaydah, Amran, Taiz, Lahj and Aden.
Budget 2016
75 Million NOK
National staff


Country Director

Mutasim Hamdan


+967 (1) 425447


Donors to our projects in Yemen