Yemen: A joint emergency food response to meet urgent humanitarian needs

Since the start of the civil war in 2015, several parties have been fighting to claim power inside Yemen. This has had destructive consequences for one of the poorest populations on the Arabian Peninsula determining the country's fate as the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.

Some 20.7 million people - more than two thirds of the population - are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. In a particularly cruel twist, it is children who bear the brunt of a merciless environment that UNICEF accurately describes as a "living hell". A staggering 30,000 children die every year of chronic malnutrition, among other leading causes. More than 20 million people are food insecure while a 10 million people do not know where their next meal is coming from - a reality that veers dangerously close to nationwide famine.

Ongoing fighting at the frontlines, security incidents are routine events; the collapse of public services and the economy inevitable. Despite the enormity of the crisis, there are many barriers to aid access including the presence of armed groups, and bureaucratic blockades.


Yemen has a population of 31.8 million people


Nearly 80% of the population are living in extreme poverty

Our Reach

In 2023 407,586 people took part in our programmes

What we do in Yemen


Dorcas opened its Country Office in 2021 in Aden. In previous years Dorcas supported work of local partner International Training and Development Center (ITDC) providing emergency food assistance to Yemen's most vulnerable families. This remains our priority in Yemen - to ensure continuous food access among exposed households. For the next years, Dorcas will also participate as member in the Dutch Relief Alliance.


Food Security

A minimum of 1,000 households (displaced and vulnerable families in hard-to-reach areas) will be provided with standard food assistance (in-kind and cash) for 6 consecutive months. All households will also receive a Solar Thermal Cooker.

Community-Based Protection

Dorcas sees the immense needs of the Yemeni population in the field of Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS). People throughout Yemen are suffering, for example, from displacement, loss of home/possessions, poverty, hunger, insecurity and even loss of family members. In 2022, Dorcas started a pilot project with a local partner to provide psychosocial support sessions for women and children. The sessions for children address different themes through art and play in a safe environment. Dorcas plans to expand this intervention in the future to increase its impact. That will be realised in collaboration with other NGOs in this field, either in community-based interventions or specialised MHPSS care.


A total of 10 health facilities will be rehabilitated and provided with essential drugs, supplies, high quality equipment and training of staff. Through Community Health Volunteers and Mother Groups, Dorcas aims to promote good health, hygiene, and nutrition behaviours.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

A minimum of 1,000 households were provided with standard hygiene kits for six consecutive months. In addition, four local community wells were rehabilitated and refitted with Solar Pumping.

After receiving the hygiene kits, parents observed that it improved their children’s health as they noticeably had less infections and were ill less often. The correct hand washing procedures quickly became part of the daily routine and benefited them a lot.

Impact story: 'This work lets me express who I am'

Haifa holds a degree in business administration. She lives in Aden with her husband and has two children. She is the founder of our partner organisation LOYAC.

Back in 2011, she briefly worked on a project with another international NGO, which she really enjoyed. She then went into banking, but that was not where her heart lay. That was the moment she realised humanitarian work was her vocation and established LOYAC. This NGO has helped hundreds of people, but one story, in particular, sticks in her mind.

Abdullah’s story

‘A few years ago we visited an orphanage in Shaab. There I met Abdullah, a young boy who had already experienced so many intense things in life.

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Meet our Country Director…

José Salema - Country Director

“Living in an area where there is a constant threat of violence, has a great impact on people's mental health. Even if the conflict in Yemen is over by tomorrow, we will still feel the consequences of it for years. Because of the violence, there are limited possibilities for people to live a full and thriving life. Poverty and hunger are also real threats. There is a daily struggle for food and water.

From experience, I know people in these areas are also resilient. The work that Dorcas does in Yemen is very important. We focus on food security and water and sanitation, but also on mental health and social cohesion. I believe our contribution matters. My colleagues at Dorcas Yemen know what it takes to do this work. Working with them, gives me hope.”

Our partners

From our Country Office in Aden, Dorcas Yemen continues to partner in its projects with local and international organisations. Together with ITDC, LOYAC, Medair, NMO and our own staff we work with the Yemeni people to develop and support communities. We will explore ways to strengthen and complement each other’s activities and prepare for the future by identifying opportunities for sustainable recovery.

Strategic Partners and Donors

  • International Training and Development Center (IDTC)
  • Medair
  • NMO