As a result of the war, the humanitarian situation in Yemen is devastating: according to current estimates, around 17 million people are dependent on emergency food supplies.




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527,970 km²


approx. 28.45 Million

Population growth

2.5 %

Rural Population

65 % of the overall population

Gross Domestic Product

28.52 Billion US Dollars

Annual Income per Capita

Approx.  925 Dollars

Severity of hunger according to the World Hunger Index

alarming (WHI: 45.9)

Human Development Index

Index: 0,463 / Rank: 177 of 189

The poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula

The Romans called the south of the Arabian Peninsula a happy and fertile Arabia - Arabia Felix. With its location on the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden, the mountains, the desert and green regions in the centre, Yemen's economy could continue to flourish. But in 2004, with the Huthi conflict, civil war broke out and trade came to a standstill. Since 2015 Saudi Arabia has been taking military action against the Huthi rebels and is still waging a proxy war with Iran. As a result, two thirds of the population are currently dependent on humanitarian aid.
Most of the state's income originally came from oil and natural gas production. Today, the ongoing bombing has destroyed not only the production facilities but also many roads, ports and hospitals. Due to the decline in economic activity, strong population growth and an additional water shortage, families are only able to feed themselves in a few places. The survival of many people depends on whether international aid can reach them.

Growing and eating habits

The conditions for agricultural production are difficult in Yemen: Due to a high proportion of mountains and desert as well as very low rainfall, the agricultural area of Yemen is less than five percent of the total land area. Due to the diverse geography, farmers harvest very different products depending on the region. Cultivation is most reliable in the low mountain ranges around the capital. In the "green province" of southern Yemen, for example, millet, wheat, barley, legumes, cotton, coffee and tobacco are grown on the terraced fields. More difficult is the cultivation of field crops in the high mountains, where temperatures fluctuate greatly. Only in the deeply cut valleys do fruits such as mangoes, papayas and citrus fruits grow. In the desert in the eastern part, extensive oases with date palms provide the basic supply.

The target in Yemen: Alleviate the famine catastrophe

International organisations have been warning of a humanitarian disaster in Yemen since 2015. In the meantime it has arrived there, among other things due to the outbreak of a cholera epidemic. The international donor community is providing additional funds to help overcome hunger and is financing numerous aid deliveries. In many cases, the challenge is to bring essential food and medicines to the towns and villages despite destroyed and blocked airports and seaports.
Only very few organisations are still active on the ground and take care of basic infrastructure and medical care. The provision of drinking water is as much a part of this as the development of emergency plans with the local water companies.
An end to the conflict would be necessary in order to be able to reapply the existing centuries-old knowledge about careful cultivation of the soil and to overcome hunger.



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