Where’s Yemen? Who lives there?

A map showing Yemen and the Middle East


Yemen is in the Middle East, directly below Saudi Arabia and about 500 miles from Dubai.

It’s twice the size of the UK and home to about 26 million people, more than double the population of Scotland and Wales combined. It’s one of the poorest countries in the Middle East.

What’s the crisis about?

Yemen has been affected by armed conflict for decades. This has made it harder for people there to earn money, go to school or even get everyday essentials such as food, water and healthcare.

But in the last few months the fighting, which involves a wide range of different armed groups, has become much worse in most of the country’s provinces.

Hundreds of people have died in the last few weeks alone. Many more have been injured in air strikes and fighting. Hospitals have been overwhelmed.

Everyone in the country has been affected by the crisis – the statistics are shocking. Millions of people struggle to get the food they need, and food prices are likely to go up in the months ahead.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes, and 840,000 children are acutely malnourished.

What’s the Red Cross doing to help?

British Red Cross partners are working across the country to help people affected by the violence.

They are running ambulance services and search and rescue operations. They are giving first aid and counselling. Teams are also retrieving the bodies of people killed in the fighting and burying the dead as hospitals and morgues struggle to cope. And they are sending vital equipment and supplies to hospitals in the worst-hit areas.

ICRC working in Yemen, 2014. ©ICRC

ICRC working in Yemen, 2014. ©ICRC

Volunteers from the Yemen Red Crescent Society are among those risking their lives to carry out this work. Tragically three, including two brothers, have been killed in the line of duty.

The Red Cross is calling for an immediate end to attacks on aid workers, who are protected by international humanitarian law.

The British Red Cross has already given money to support this work, and sent a team to give psychological support to British nationals affected by the violence.

What can I do?

Donate to the British Red Cross Yemen Crisis Appeal. This money will bring more help to people caught up in the fighting.

Ted Tuthill from the British Red Cross said: “The numbers of people in need of help is staggering but we cannot allow the scale of the crisis to overwhelm us. Lives are on the line and we must act.”