YEMEN CRISIS: At a glance

Current crisis

The current Yemen civil war may have dropped off the news headlines, but the country is still on God’s heart. Here is some background to help raise awareness of the conflict, and inform your prayers.

In a nutshell: why is there conflict?

  • Religious, political and entrenched tribal rivalries have escalated into a civil war.
  • Northern Shia Muslim rebels known as Houthis took over several cities including the capital, Sanaa, and forced the government into exile in March 2015.
  • Forces loyal to the government and southern militias combined to regain control of several southern provinces. The government has since returned.
  • The combination of Saudi-led coalition air strikes, blockades and shelling on both sides has restricted the ability of humanitarian aid reaching the most affected.
  • Repeated efforts to bring closure to the ongoing conflict – including temporary ceasefires for humanitarian relief – have proved unsuccessful so far.

One high-priority concern: Malnourished children

Although the war is largely unreported, mainstream news outlets are beginning to shine a spotlight on the food crisis in Yemen.

A recent BBC documentary** showed appalling scenes of starvation. In her 20 years of medical experience, Dr Ashwaq Muharram shared that she had never seen things so bad.

“I’m seeing the same thing I used to watch on TV when the famine unfolded in Somalia. I never thought I would see this in Yemen. If you don’t die from an airstrike you die from illness or starvation. The hardest way to die is from starvation.”

Quick stats: How widespread is the problem?

  • UNICEF estimate that 537,000 Yemeni children under the age of 5 are already at risk of severe acute malnutrition.
  • Yemen has a population of around 26 million, almost half of all Yemenis lived below the poverty line BEFORE the conflict started.
  • Every second person in Yemen, is struggling to find his or her next meal, according to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Pointers for prayer

  • Pray for food security and protection on those who are bravely bringing urgent supplies to malnourished families.
  • Pray for political breakthrough so that negotiations and ceasefires are respected by each side, allowing free access for humanitarian assistance and relief.
  • Pray for an end to conflict, lasting peace in the country and divine reconciliation among all groups.


DISCLAIMER: Library image has been used and was taken before the conflict. It is used for illustrative purposes only.

**AWM-Pioneers is not responsible for the content of external sites and provides links to news sources for background information and not as a sign of endorsement or editorial support.


YEMEN CLASHES UNDERMINE CEASEFIRE (external site** – Al Jazeera article)
YEMEN ON THE BRINK OF STARVATION (external site** – 5min BBC documentary clip on YouTube) – There are distressing scenes throughout this news broadcast.


A TRUE PICTURE OF YEMEN (external site – Arab world media)

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