The humanitarian situation

  • According to the UN, Yemen is undergoing one of the world’s biggest humanitarian crises, which has worsened since the conflict began in March 2015.
  • Twenty-four million people (out of a total population of approximately 30 million) currently depend on humanitarian assistance.
  • The UN has issued warnings that there is an acute risk of famine. Twenty million people are affected by food insecurity, of whom about 10 million are at high risk. Meanwhile, 3.3 million people are malnourished, 2.2 million of whom are children.
  • Twenty million people have no access to basic health care and 18 million people lack adequate access to clean water and sanitation.
  • The number of internally displaced persons stands at approximately 3.3 million people. The majority of persons displaced since March 2015 have been in the governorates of Amanat Al Asimah, Hajjah, Taiz, Hodeidah and Saada. Eighty-nine percent of the internally displaced persons have been displaced for two years or longer.
  • Over one million people who were displaced have since returned, predominantly to Aden, Amanat Al Asimah and Taiz.
  • According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are some 190,000 refugees from Yemen in the region, of whom about 51,000 are in Oman, 40,000 in Saudi Arabia, 37,400 in Djibouti, 40,000 in Somalia (85 percent Somalis), 14,600 in Ethiopia (69 percent Ethiopians) and 7400 in Sudan. At the same time, 270,000 refugees and asylum seekers have been registered in Yemen, the majority of whom are Somali refugees. According to the UN, the number of unreported cases is higher, with new refugees and migrants coming from the Horn of Africa to Yemen every month.


Name of country: Republic of Yemen (Al-Jumhuriya al-Yemenia)

Capital city: Sana’a with approximately 2.2 million inhabitants

Location: Located in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula, the country borders the Red Sea to the west, the Indian Ocean (Gulf of Aden) to the south, Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the northeast and north.

Climate: Mountainous territory with capital Sana’a (2200 m above sea level): temperate climate with an average annual temperature of 21°C and relative humidity of 20 to 50 percent, maximum temperature in June/July up to 38°C, minimum temperature in December/January at night falling below zero; coastal plain on the Red Sea (Tihama), southern and eastern provinces (Aden and Hadramaut): humid and hot tropical climate with temperatures between 25°C and 48°C and a relative humidity between 65 and 90 percent; arid desert climate in the north and northeast of the country (Rub al-Khali).

Total area of the country: The border with Saudi Arabia was settled by the Treaty of Jeddah on 12 June 2000 and fully demarcated as of June 2006. Yemen’s total area is 528,000 km2 (the second-largest country on the Arabian Peninsula, with approximately the same total area as France).

Population: 28.25 million (2017, source: World Bank), annual growth rate 0.98 percent (2017, source: World Bank)

Official language: Arabic

Religions: Islam is the official state religion (Sunni Shafi’i in the south, Shiite Zaidi in the north and Ismaili minority); in addition, small communities of Yemenite Jews, Twelver Shiites and Baha’i, as well as Christians and Hindus from abroad.

National Day: 22 May: day marking the unification of the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1990); other national days: 26 September (day marking the revolution in North Yemen in 1962), 14 October (day marking the revolution in South Yemen in 1963) and 30 November (day marking the end of British colonial rule in South Yemen in 1967).

Independence: Former Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (1918); former People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1967)

Establishment of diplomatic relations:

  • 24 October 1962 (between the Federal Republic of Germany and the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen))
  • 21 December 1972 (between the German Democratic Republic and the Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen))
  • 10 July 1969 (between the German Democratic Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen))

System of government: Constitutional presidential system

Head of State: Abdrabu Mansour Hadi (elected as Interim President on 21 February 2012); President Hadi has resided in Saudi Arabia since the end of March 2015 owing to the hostilities in Yemen.

Head of Government: Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed (since 15 October 2018)

Foreign Minister: Khaled Hussein Mohammad al-Yamany (since 24 May 2018)

Parliament: 301 seats – most recently elected on 27 April 2003; Speaker of the House of Representatives: Yahya Ali Al-Raee (GPC). Parliamentary sessions have not taken place since the beginning of the conflict in Yemen at the end of March 2015; numerous members of parliament are currently residing in other countries.

Represented in Parliament:

  • General People’s Congress (GPC/former unity party of North Yemen)
  • Yemeni Congregation for Reform “Islah” (Islamist)
  • Yemeni Socialist Party (YSP/former unity party of South Yemen)
  • Nasserist Unionist People’s Organisation
  • Ba’ath Party
  • Federation of Yemeni Popular Forces (Zaidi)
  • Party of Truth (al-Haqq, Zaidi)
  • 13 independent MPs

Trade unions: Independent trade union federation with nine branches and approximately 300,000 members

Administrative structure: 21 governorates + capital district; centralised administration with decentralised approaches

Membership of international organisations: United Nations with subsidiary organisations; World Trade Organization (WTO), World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), International Air Transport Association (IATA), Non-Aligned Movement.

Gross Domestic Product: Approximately 31.3 billion US dollars (2017, source: World Bank)

Real growth: 2017: -7.9 percent, 2018: -3.6 percent

Per capita income: 1250 US dollars (2016, source: World Bank)

Currency: Yemeni Rial (YER), the exchange rate has been free floating since 1996. Average rate on 25 March 2019: 1 euro = 283 YER (official rate)

Inflation rate: Approximately 37.4 percent (estimate for 2019)

This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its Contents.

Additional content

Yemen is a partner country of German development cooperation. For more information please visit the website of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development

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