Yemen A country in humanitarian crisis

The United Nations considers the current situation in Yemen to be the worst humanitarian crisis worldwide. The armed conflict that has been under way since 2015 has significantly exacerbated the situation in the country, which had already been critical before.

Straight to

Yemen is part of the group of least developed countries (LDCs). The extremely unstable political situation and factors such as high population growth, water scarcity, high levels of unemployment, poor education and health systems, and frequent natural disasters such as droughts and floods are causing severe hardship for the people. The agricultural sector is unable to feed the people. Dependency on food imports is rising. Yemen's oil and gas reserves will soon be exhausted. Two thirds of the people are dependent on humanitarian assistance.

Yemen no longer has a single national state system. The government has lost control over large parts of the country. In the current situation, it is impossible for the country to implement the reforms that are urgently needed in areas such as, in particular, the rule of law, political participation, gender equality, decentralisation and economic development.

German development cooperation with Yemen

Yemen is one of the so-called nexus and peace partners of German development cooperation. The cooperation programme focuses on drinking water supply and sanitation as well as education. Through its development cooperation, Germany also assists the Yemeni people in the fields of health, sustainable economic development, employment, food security, peacebuilding, good governance, and efforts to strengthen civil society and empower women.

Cooperation during the current crisis

In the current crisis, Germany has not suspended its cooperation with Yemen. Rather, it has adapted the programme to the challenges. Projects are implemented with as little government-to-government cooperation as possible.

Due to the security situation, no German personnel is permanently on the ground at present, but Yemeni staff members of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) are keeping a large number of projects running, based on continuous dialogue with GIZ headquarters. Germany also supports the work of non-governmental local partners and international organisations such as the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

In the last few years, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) has significantly increased its support for Yemen, bringing it to 167 million euros in 2022 (up from about 60 million euros in 2018).

A destroyed building in Al Qahirah district of Taiz, Yemen

A destroyed building in Al Qahirah district of Taiz, Yemen

A destroyed building in Al Qahirah district of Taiz, Yemen

Ensuring the continuation and expansion of services

The purpose of Germany's activities is to stabilise the living conditions of Yemen's people in the short term and to improve them in the medium term. Germany is providing support to what public institutions still exist for the provision of basic services (water supply, health, education). The BMZ builds flexibly on the humanitarian assistance provided under the lead of the Federal Foreign Office.

Thanks to German assistance, some 281,000 pupils (including 145,000 girls) have received improved education since 2015. 8,900 school employees (including over 5,400 women) now enjoy better working conditions. Since 2018, some 1,500 classrooms have been repaired, improving the learning environment for about 200,000 children (about 50 per cent girls).

In addition, some 2.3 million people have been given better access to water and sanitation since 2015, and 34,264 rural households were connected to safe drinking water supplies.

Over 30,000 children have been born in certified health care facilities since 2017. At present, renovations are under way at 41 health facilities and (COVID-19) isolation wards. These facilities reach about 2.2 million patients a year.

Current situation

Political situation
Air strike in Sanaa, Yemen, 5 November 2015
Humanitarian situation
Ruin near an aid facility in Raymah, Yemen.

As at: 28/03/2023