Nine Years on: Economic Downturn Plunges Millions into Poverty in Yemen

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (March 26, 2024)—As the conflict enters its tenth year on March 26, four in every five Yemenis face poverty.

Today, Yemenis face catastrophic needs driven by the growing economic crisis and ongoing multifaceted conflict, exacerbating poverty and hunger. Half the Yemeni population—more than 18 million people—urgently need humanitarian assistance to survive.  

The UN-led truce, which expired in October 2022, has resulted in a reduction of hostilities. While truce conditions largely continue to be upheld, parties have yet to reach an agreement on urgently needed measures to stabilize the economy. Rising inflation, irregular or delayed payment of civil servant salaries, and the collapse of basic services have left people unable to meet their basic needs. 

Yemen's economic landscape severely impacts food security, with staple food prices surging by up to 45 percent above the usual rates.[2] The trend is projected to continue into 2024. This price escalation is paralleled by a worrying devaluation of the Yemeni Rial, which has seen a steep drop in its value in recent months, placing further stress on the purchasing power of Yemeni families. 

Recent assessments have identified a 12 percent increase in the number of people experiencing acute food insecurity at the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Phase 3 (crisis) level or worse in IRG areas alone.  The situation underscores the significant deterioration in the humanitarian crisis, with nearly half of the population in affected areas across the country struggling to meet minimal food requirements. The data reflects the reality of a deepening food security crisis that spans across the country, signaling a need for increased humanitarian assistance and economic support measures to assist those in the most vulnerable situations. 

New figures from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reveal that more than four in every five people in Yemen—almost 83 percent of the population—live in multidimensional poverty. 

These new findings are based on the first in-person household surveys collected since the start of the conflict which measure poverty across a range of dimensions including health, education, and living standards. 

Lack of schooling and access to adequate sanitation were two of the most concerning dimensions of poverty—affecting more than 70 percent of the population.[4] Poverty tended to be higher in rural areas (89 percent) than urban areas (67 percent). 

As a result, families are being forced to choose between food and education for their children, resulting in an increase in school dropouts, early marriage, and child labor, exacerbating protection risks and vulnerabilities.[5]

By the end of 2023, the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) was only 39.3 percent funded, forcing many aid organizations to reduce or close critical assistance programs. This concerning trend continues with only 9.1 percent of the HRP 2024 funded so far this year. Despite these challenges, humanitarian agencies continue to provide life-saving assistance. However, significant gaps in coverage and access to services persist. In a recent study, 15 percent of surveyed households in Yemen reported having no access to any basic commodities including water, hygiene items, fuel, and medication, increasing to as much as 33 percent in some governorates.[6] We urge all parties to uphold the principles that must guide our humanitarian efforts. We note with concern the current humanitarian funding situation. It is imperative that aid is allocated based on need alone, to prevent exacerbating the already dire conditions for those most in need. It is our collective responsibility to provide equitable support, fostering unity and healing divisions. 

We recognize the complexities involved in coordinating international aid and the challenges that come with it. Yet we must strive to rise above these challenges, ensuring that the aid provided is a bridge to a more stable and prosperous future for all Yemenis. We call on all parties to address the underlying economic drivers of the conflict and put Yemen on a path to lasting peace. The HRP 2024 of $2.7 billion must be fully funded to meet the urgent needs of approximately 11.2 million people that the humanitarian community aims to reach across the country. 

We call upon the international community to respond with increased funding and support, to invest not only in the immediate needs but also in the long-term recovery of Yemen. 

Only together can we forge a path to recovery and peace for Yemen. As we mark nine years since the conflict, we must not turn away. Every day, the needs grow, and the gap in funding widens—our unwavering commitment is more crucial than ever.


1.Action Contre la Faim (ACF) 


3.Action For Humanity International


5. CARE 

6. Caritas Poland 


8. Concern worldwide 

9. Danish Refugee Council - DRC 

10. Direct Aid 

11. Geneva Call

12. Handicap International

13. International Medical Corps - IMC 


15. Medicine du Monde 

16. Mercy Corps

17. Muslim Hands

18. Norwegian Refugee Council - NRC 

19. Oxfam 

20. People in Need 

21. Polish Humanitarian Aid - PAH 

22. Première Urgence Internationale - PUI 

23. Qatar Charity 

24. Read Foundation 

25. Relief International - RI 

26. Safer World 

27. Save the Children


29. Triangle Generation Humanitarian “TGH”  

30. WarChild Alliance 

31. War Child Canada

32. Vision Hope International -VHI

33. ZOA 

34. Abyan Youth Foundation 

35. Aden Promising Youth Foundation 

36. Al Haya Foundation 

37. Al-Ghaith for Human Development 

38. Arman Development Foundation 

39. Assistance for Response and Development 

40. Badeel Foundation for Development 

41. Basmat Development Foundation 

42. Charitability Future Society 

43. Democracy School 

44. Enqath Foundation For Development 

45. Experts for Development 

46. Future Pioneers Foundation for Training and Development 

47. Ghadaq for Development 

48. Hajjah Cultural and Development Foundation 

49. Humanitarian Action Library -Yemen 

50. Humanitarian Development Program 

51. Humanity Bridge Organization for Response 

52. Iradat Jareeh Foundation 


54. Maisarah Development Foundation 

55. Modern Social Association 

56. Nahda Makers Organization 

57. National Prisoner Foundation 

58. Neda'a Foundation for Development 

59. Qaim Voluntary Team 

60. Rowad Aid for Relief & Development 

61. Sada Foundation for Building and Development 

62. Salam Yemen Foundation 

63. Shibam Social Association For Development 

64. Society for Humanitarian Solidarity 

65. Tamdeen Youth Foundation 

66. Welfare Association for Student's Care 

67. Youth Hayat Group 



[1] UNDP, Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Yemen, December 2023. 

[2] Yemen: IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis Update –October 2023 –February 2024.

[3] Yemen: IPC Acute Food Insecurity Analysis Update –October 2023 –February 2024. 

[4] UNDP, Measuring Multidimensional Poverty in Yemen, December 2023.

[5] Save the Children, Hanging in the Balance: Yemeni Children’s Struggle for Education 2024.

[6] Cash Consortium Yemen, HIP Needs Assessment Report, November 2023.


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