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Yemen, the poorest country in the Arab world, faces multiple conflicts and dwindling natural resources. One of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world is currently unfolding in Yemen, almost entirely outside of the headlines. Since March 2015, thousands of civilians have been killed by conflict, 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian assistance, and two thirds of the population do not have access to clean water and sanitation.

Saferworld has been working on Yemen since 2010 and opened an office in Sana’a in June 2012. The overall objective of our work in Yemen is to promote inclusive, responsive and accountable peacebuilding and governance.

During the current crisis, Saferworld is continuing to work with communities in Yemen who are affected by the conflict through our committed team and partners on the ground, as well as to raise the voice of Yemenis within international forums.

Read Saferworld’s statement on the conflict in Yemen.

Building youth capacities for peace

Saferworld is working with Resonate! Yemen, Youth Without Borders and Riwa Youth Development Foundation to build youth capacities to contribute to peacebuilding in Yemen and to respond to the effects of the crisis in their communities. The project focuses on supporting youth to engage at a local and governorate level, and will include Youth Peacebuilding Platforms across four governorates.

The project builds on Saferworld’s work with youth in Yemen over the last 5 years, including the Amplifying Youth Voices project and a report on youth grievances and empowerment conducted with the Tamkeen Development Foundation and supported by the EU’s People’s Peacemaking Perspectives Project, entitled ‘Public Protests and Visions for Change’.

Watch a documentary of Saferworld’s Amplifying Youth Voices project filmed by one of the recipients with interviews from staff, partners, youth activists and donors here.

Read the briefing on Five barriers to youth engagement, decision-making, and leadership in Yemen's political parties.

Enhancing community-level security and justice
Saferworld is working with the National Organisation for the Development of Society (NODS) on piloting a number of community security project sites. This programme is part of a wider community security initiative across Saferworld which involves working closely with communities to identify major drivers of insecurity and working with them and local and national security providers and policymakers to find sustainable solutions to address these issues.

Read more about our four-year, multi-country community security project.

Promoting women's political participation

Saferworld works to promote women’s political participation and address issues of gender, peace and security. In 2014-15, we hosted a workshop series bringing together government representatives and members of civil society to examine women’s role in the security sector in Yemen.

Read background papers produced for the project on Women’s role in Yemen’s Police Force and Detention of Women in Yemen: Procedures and Facilities.

Watch our video on women in the security forces in Yemen.

Saferworld conducted research on women’s political participation entitled ‘Strong Voices: Women’s Political Participation from Protest to Transition’. Yemen was also part of Saferworld’s regional project to support new and emerging women activists in Egypt, Libya and Yemen to strengthen their public voice through demand-led capacity building, networking and advocacy.

Read case stories and watch videos about our work on gender, peace, and security in Yemen in our 2013-14 Annual Review.

Our work has been supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the German Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations - Zivik and the Royal Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands.

In 2011, fuelled by long-term economic and political grievances, large-scale pro-democracy protests erupted throughout Yemen, calling for the fall of President Saleh’s regime. The current power-sharing arrangement remains unstable. Insecurity and lawlessness are on the rise as political manoeuvring at the centre continues to distract from major human security crises in the rest of the country.

Long divided into North and South, Yemen’s unification in 1990 was followed by civil war in 1994. The country faces a number of social, economic and political challenges and is at high risk of further conflict and instability.

Conflict in Yemen is fuelled by chronic and increasing poverty, limited and uneven access to services and increasing radicalisation and unemployment, especially among young people. Conflicts between Yemen's powerful tribal elites, between the long-divided north and south, and over religious divisions, have turned violent in a context where the population is frustrated by corruption and excluded from decision-making.

The widespread circulation of weapons, coupled with weak government control over large parts of the country, heightens the risk of violent conflict. Conflicts over increasingly scarce resources affect all levels of Yemeni society, from localised conflicts over land and water to national level political struggles. Water resources are diminishing rapidly and a water crisis is imminent. The country is heavily dependent on food imports, making it especially vulnerable to global price shocks.

Saferworld has been working on Yemen since 2010 and opened an office in Sana’a in June 2012. The overall objective of our work in Yemen is to promote inclusive, responsive and accountable peacebuilding and governance.

more features

Case study: Young filmmakers document experiences of Yemeni diaspora in Liverpool

As part of a participatory video project a group of youths from Liverpool’s Yemeni community set out to produce a film that would record the experiences, thoughts and memories of Yemen’s diaspora, and bring attention to the destructive war taking place there.

Video: #MakeArtNotWar

In this video by Oscar-nominated Yemeni filmmaker Abdurahman Hussain, acclaimed Yemeni street artist Murad Subay talks about how he has been using his art to inspire collective action to build peace despite the war.

Legal opinion: UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Leading lawyers find that the UK Government is breaking the law by supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia in the context of its military intervention in Yemen.