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Update August 2022: The UN has announced the national ceasefire, which has been in place since April 2022, has been extended to 2 October 2022.

Yemen is now entering the eighth year of its high-level conflict, which the UN Development Programme estimates may have killed 377,000 by the end of 2021, as a result of direct and indirect causes.

Yemen is now divided between the Houthi group in the north, which includes the country’s capital, and the internationally recognised Government, which controls much of the south and east. In 2015, a Saudi-led coalition intervened in support of Yemen’s government. Until April 2022, this was led by President Hadi, who has now handed power to a presidential council.

The UN, NGOs and UK Government have raised concerns about human rights abuses committed by all sides (PDF) in the conflict. These include indiscriminate shelling of civilians and air strikes against civilian areas.

Around 21 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance, and 4.2 million are internally displaced. One UN agency described Yemen in November 2021 as the “world’s largest humanitarian crisis.”

This briefing summarises the humanitarian situation in the country, including the impact of the conflict on civilians and the significance of the conflict in Ukraine on food supply to Yemen. It also describes the funding shortfalls in UN appeals, and the amount and purpose of UK aid.

The UK has provided more than £1 billion in aid to Yemen since 2015. However, its pledges have fallen in recent years: £160 million in 2020/21, £87 million in 2021/22 and £88 million for 2022/23. At the UN pledging conference for Yemen in March 2022, the UK was the fourth largest donor to the country.

For a background to the conflict in 2021/22 and attempts to negotiate peace, see the accompanying Library Briefing: Yemen in 2021/22: Conflict and peace.

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