Read caption Photo: NRC/Abudallah Bader

NRC in Yemen

Yemen now represents the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Ongoing conflict, economic deterioration and the collapse of public services have left 22.2 million Yemenis in need of aid and protection. NRC responds to emergency needs in Yemen by providing communities with resources, services and information that enable self-reliance and preserve dignity.


A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2017.


Humanitarian overview

Yemen is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. What started as a local conflict has become a power struggle between other countries in the region.

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition has been fighting the Houthi armed opposition group (also known as Ansar Allah) in Yemen since 2015, after the Houthis took control of capital Sana’a and ousted President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. In November 2017, the coalition closed all of Yemen’s air and sea ports for several weeks, purportedly to stop weapons from reaching the Houthi group – which also blocked shipments of food and medicine. On top of this, money diverted to the war effort has driven economic collapse and stopped salary payments to public servants, causing food and water prices to spike. Millions are now food insecure and the risk of widespread famine looms.

Over 14 million Yemenis lack clean drinking water, which has led to a massive cholera outbreak. But as nearly 2,000 health facilities have been damaged from airstrikes and ground fighting, healthcare options are severely limited. Sana’a’s international airport has been closed since August 2016, which has left Yemenis stranded, unable to leave the country for medical help abroad.



People we helped in Yemen in 2017:

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's operation

In Yemen we seek to buy and employ locally, recognising the skills and systems that exist within the communities we support.

Damaged infrastructure, a crumbling economy and constant bureaucratic constraints continue to intensify the crisis and make it challenging for humanitarian organisations, including NRC, to reach out to displaced people with lifesaving aid.

NRC EducationEducation

Education is the most neglected sector in Yemen. Displacement, attacks and misuse of schools have left two million children without access to education. We:

  • rehabilitate and construct classrooms
  • train teachers and other education staff
  • distribute school materials to children
  • ·provide sanitary kits to girls to make it easier for them to go to school
  • work with communities to keep schools safe

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

In Yemen, we work to make sure that displaced people know their rights. We:

  • inform people of their legal rights
  • help people to access their identity documents
  • help people with their housing, land and property issues
  • establish community protection networks
  • advocate for policy changes that affect peoples' rights


NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

The cost of food has increased dramatically since the beginning of Yemen's conflict and is now beyond the reach of many families. While distributing food to meet acute needs, we also work with communities to move back towards self-reliance. We:

  • distribute food
  • provide unconditional cash transfers to families, giving them the freedom to buy what they need the most
  • provide start-up capital and training for youth and women entrepreneurs
  • support training sessions on food security and agricultural production
  • provide livelihood and rehabilitation support for people returning home


NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

We recognise that most displaced people in Yemen rely on support from extended family, friends and other community networks, and we 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 cooking equipment
  • constructing emergency temporary shelters
  • upgrading and improving shelters for displaced people, creating a safe space for those living in public buildings
  • providing rental subsidies to internally displaced people living in urban areas


NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

The conflict is placing immense pressure on water supplies and creating a breakdown in sanitation services across urban and rural areas. We are working with communities to ensure that water is stored and managed safely. Our WASH teams:

  • rehabilitate water supply systems in both urban and rural settings
  • develop water supply wells for water abstraction
  • spread hygiene information
  • improve sanitation facilities
  • construct latrines
  • provide water through water trucking in emergencies


About NRC in (country)

International staff
Areas of operation
Sana’a (Country office), Hajjah, Hudaydah, Amran, Aden, Lahj, Taiz and Al-Dhale.
Budget 2017
USD 17.9 million
National staff


Country Director

Mutasim Hamdan


NRC Yemen is grateful for the generous support from our donors:
  • NMFA
  • ECHO
  • SIDA
  • DFID
  • EU
  • SDC
  • WFP
  • OCHA
  • Norwegian National Telethon