The Invisible Tragedy


It is the civil war that rarely makes the headlines, but it has left thousands dead and millions in peril.

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is so serious that it currently ranks along with Iraq and Syria as a ‘Level 3’ Emergency – the highest level there is. In fact, many of the measures of suffering rank even higher than for those two nations.

However, the civil war in Yemen receives just a fraction of the attention. Despite this, Tearfund is supporting lifesaving work there and you can support it.

The nation of Yemen lies on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. It shares a northern border with Saudi Arabia. The contrast with its wealthy neighbour couldn’t be more marked.

A crisis in numbers

The statistics speak for themselves; over 21 million people urgently need humanitarian assistance – that’s 83% of the population, higher than for Syria (74%). Over 14 million lack safe regular access to food – rising to 19 million for water and sanitation.

Just as disturbing is the international response to the crisis; only 39% of the money needed for humanitarian help has been raised by the UN.

Yemeni children pose for the camera
A generation at risk (photo Rod Waddington, Creative Commons)

It’s hard to understand how such a desperate situation has only received a fraction of the attention of the two other humanitarian crises currently filling the headlines.

Full civil war broke out in 2015. Two groups claiming to be the nation’s legitimate government have fought bitterly for control, with the Shia Muslim faction known as Houthis taking control of the capital Sana’a.

Caught in the middle

This leaves millions of innocent families caught in the middle of the chaos. Around 4,000 civilians have already died in the first year and a half. An average of six children are killed every day, while many more are dying from malnutrition and disease.

Tearfund is working in Yemen through our partners inside the country. ‘The situation in Yemen is extremely volatile,’ explains Ali Wood, Acting Head of Tearfund’s Middle East Programme  ‘However Tearfund's partners are there for the long haul. They’re working hard to help those in huge need.’

Please give now for people suffering in Yemen.


Top image: Sana'a (courtesy yeowatzup, Creative Commons)