Fighting Conflict & Famine

Yemen is one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The scale of loss is unconscionable.

Looming Starvation

More than 17 million Yemenis – over half the population – don’t know if or when they’ll eat another meal. With multiple threats closing in from all sides, untold numbers of innocent people could starve.

We’re fighting hard to feed over 10 million of the most vulnerable people, but we desperately need more funds to do so.


people in need of humanitarian assistance


people are food insecure


people are internally displaced

History of Hunger in Yemen

Mar 2015

The civil war begins in Yemen, pitting the government against Houthi rebels.

Nov 2017

A military coalition of countries involved in the conflict starts a blockade of all of Yemen’s ports, further restricting vital supplies and food.

Sep 2018

Renewed fighting erupts in the vital port of Hodeidah, threatening food deliveries and pushing millions to the brink of famine.

Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed

June 2019

On June 3rd, WFP makes a breakthrough in rebel-held Nihm district for the first time since conflict began. By partnering with Islamic Relief, over 5,000 people receive a 2-month ration of life-saving aid. On June 20th, WFP is forced to suspend food distribution in Sana’a after negotiations stall on an agreement to prevent food diversion. Nutrition programs for malnourished children, pregnant and nursing mothers continue.

Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed

July 2020

A new analysis shows that an additional 1 million people in southern Yemen will face severe hunger by the end of the year. WFP is fending off full-blown famine. Imports have declined, food prices are soaring, the Riyal is in free fall, foreign currency reserves are nearing total depletion and fighting has escalated. Meanwhile, Coronavirus is sweeping unchecked across the country. WFP has already been forced to reduce its aid, and it may have no choice but to cut back farther.

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Photo: WFP/Mohammed Awadh

Oct 2022

The prolonged conflict, an economic crisis, dwindling funds for humanitarian response and a relentless rise in global food and fuel prices over the past two years have pushed Yemen into a seismic hunger crisis. That crisis has been exacerbated first by the COVID-19 pandemic and then by the war in Ukraine

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our work in Yemen

The U.N. World Food Programme uses smart, innovative solutions to reach and feed Yemeni families in need. These innovations include ships, mobile cranes, e-cards and mVAM.


WFP is the only U.N. agency with its own shipping unit, delivering food assistance through the Red Sea and into strategic Yemeni ports. Dedicated staff negotiate shipping lines and navigate tricky routes to keep cargo safe. A single ship can carry 25,000 tons of wheat, enough to feed 2 million people for a month.

30The number of ships WFP uses on any given day
176,000Tons of food sent from Oregon to Yemen in Aug 2018
Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed
Mobile Cranes

Mobile cranes boost the capacity of the Yemeni port of Hodeidah, which handles 70 percent of the country’s imports. This lifeline for families includes critically-needed food and humanitarian supplies. The cranes significantly increase the speed of unloading humanitarian cargo and other relief items.

90%Of all Yemen’s food is imported
60 tonsAmount of food each mobile crane can handle
Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed
Vouchers & eCards

When local markets are functioning and food is available, but unaffordable, food vouchers give Yemenis the power to purchase food on their own terms. They can be used at WFP food shops to buy fresh produce, fish and meat. E-cards work like debit cards, helping to stimulate the local economy and support local producers.

1 millionPeople able to buy their own groceries
38,000Yemeni refugees with greater choice in Djibouti

In countries around the world and in Yemen, the mobile Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (mVAM) unit equips families with mobile phones so they can share information with WFP about their needs. Families call a hotline and WFP uses the information it collects to better plan assistance and track changes in food prices.

2,000Mobile survey calls monthly to families
84%Accuracy of mobile information
Photo: WFP/Jean-Martin Bauer
Photo: WFP/Fares Khoailed

Help us realize a future beyond emergency assistance where our help is no longer needed.

Help us build people’s knowledge, skills and resilience. Help us create economic opportunities for Yemeni families so they can get the food they need to reach their full potential.

Stories from Yemen

The U.N. World Food Programme is a lifeline for over 40% of Yemen’s people each month. People like Domoaa, Amani and Maika.


Domoaa means ‘tears’ in Arabic. “I cry every day for the pain and suffering we go through just to get food,” her mother says.

Photo: WFP/Hayat Al Sharif

Maika Alaslemy is the head nurse at a health center in Yemen and works around the clock to save children from starvation. “Hunger doesn’t differentiate between children,” she says. “We work out of our obligation to save lives and preserve the future of Yemen.”

Photo: WFP

Two-year-old Amani was carried to a WFP feeding center by her 10-year-old brother. More than 2 million Yemeni children require treatment for acute malnutrition.

Photo: WFP/Mohammed Awadh
Photo: WFP/Hayat Al Sharif

Help Save Lives

Despite our efforts, a child in Yemen dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes, including severe hunger. People in Yemen are suffering from years of civil war. You can help save lives by donating to send food to countries like Yemen experiencing conflict.