In June 2014, armed conflict between the government and militias spread across much of the country. In September 2014, Houthi militias, supported by Saleh forces, exploiting public discontent, drove their way into Sana’a and gradually took over government institutions during the first quarter of 2015. Interim President Hadi and his government fled the country. An Arab coalition of nine countries led by Saudi Arabia initiated a military campaign to restore President Hadi’s government to power. The government to date is still grappling with serious security issues. The conflict has caused major loss of life, internal displacement, and the destruction of infrastructure and service delivery across main sectors, further exacerbating the preexisting difficult economic conditions.
The conflict situation is further complicated by the resurgence of al-Qaeda (AQAP) and other radical Islamist groups, including Islamic State, particularly in the south and the east of the country. Such radical groups benefited from the absence of government and a security vacuum to expand their territorial gains and local recruitment. The failing economy made it easier to recruit fighters. In late April 2016, the AQAP’s attempt to create its own state failed when pro-government forces supported by the United Arab Emirates troops recaptured the oil terminal, as well as the city of Al-Mukalla.
The conflict has resulted in catastrophic humanitarian conditions, a large number of civilian deaths and causalities across the country, and a severe impairment of public services. Prior to 2014, Yemen was facing challenges on several fronts that have been exacerbated by the conflict—high population growth, severe urban-rural imbalances, food and water scarcity, female illiteracy, widespread poverty, and economic stagnation. According to UN agencies, between March 2015 and February 2016, the conflict left over 7,600 people dead, including 3,000 civilians and another 6,000 injured. About half of Yemen's population of about 26.8 million is in areas directly affected by the conflict. Severe food insecurity affects 7.6 million people, and an estimated 2 million are malnourished, including 1.3 million children, of whom 320,000 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. Basic services across the country are on the verge of collapse. Chronic drug shortages, unpaid salaries, and conflict-related destruction restrict around 14 million Yemenis, including 8.3 million children, from accessing health care services.
More than 1.8 million additional children have been out of school since the start of conflict, bringing the total number of children out of school to more than 3 million. Over 1,600 schools remain closed either due to insecurity, physical damage, or their use as shelters for displaced people. Aid delivery in the Republic of Yemen has been affected by violence and security concerns.
Last Updated: Oct 01, 2016