Children in yemen
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History of Yemen

More information on the history and background of the conflicts in Yemen.


Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation. Moving into its eighth year of persistent conflict, famine and economic struggle, there are now 12.4 million children in need of urgent assistance and protection, with over 2 million of them internally displaced. 

The ongoing conflict between the North and South regions of Yemen have meant that millions of Yemeni’s now lack access to basic healthcare, sanitation and clean water. Poor infrastructure, disease and starvation have torn apart the lives of families and their children. Many have been forced to flee their homes and live in makeshift shelters, leaving their belongings behind without basic means to survive, like food or water. These dire circumstances pose serious risks for children – without access to safe spaces like schools and shelters, they become increasingly susceptible to child labour, exploitation, life-threatening sickness and malnutrition.  

What is the population in Yemen? 
31 million  

What is the national language of Yemen?  

What is the capital city of Yemen? 

Map of Yemen and Where We Work

*Red pins show areas where we work. 

Yemen Today  

The UN and other members of the international community have condemned the atrocities committed in Yemen. They are in the process of establishing peace efforts by imposing a two-month truce and possible six-month extension to provide respite from fighting; this would mark the longest conflict-free period Yemen has witnessed in over 7 years. Despite these efforts, roads continue to be blocked by armed groups, preventing essential aid deliveries and assistance to vulnerable families and children. With access to healthcare and education is still severely hindered, and rates of malnutrition increasingly high, the people of Yemen are still facing some of their toughest days yet. 

History of Yemen

Brief historical summary of key events.


Period from 1967-1972

Britain withdraws from the South and the country unites as the People’s Republic of Yemen, later becoming the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen in 1970.


Period from 1978-1980

Border clashes escalate between North and South Yemen (the two Yemens).



Thousands die from power struggles in the South and leaders are forced out of office.


Period from1988-1990

Unification begins between North and South and the country declares itself the Republic of Yemen. Ali Abdallah Saleh is named president.



Saleh declares state of emergency as tensions escalate in the South and civil war breaks out.



Armed group launch attack in Aden, a key region in Yemen. At this point, Houthi’s occupy the North and the Internationally recognised government in the South.


Period from 2002-2008

The government cracks down on armed/terrorist groups and gets support from Western government. Simultaneously, the Shia Insurgency began led by armed groups against the Yemeni government.



Armed groups attack embassy and tourist areas. Opposition rally breaks out in Sanaa to demand electoral reform.


Period from 2009-2010

Yemeni army launches new offensive against Houthi rebels in northern Sadaa, backed by Saudi. Mass violence breaks out and thousands flee anti-government protests. Meanwhile, US launches missiles and drone attacks in an attempt to defeat armed/terrorist groups.


Period from 2011-2012

During the Arab Springs, President Saleh hands over power to deputy Abdrabbuh Mansor Hadi due to anti-government protests and forms the unity government. New president is backed by Saudi and other gulf states, and tries to make amends with armed groups, however civil war continues to escalate.


Period from 2014-2015

Armed groups attack the President following a breakdown in negotiations. Armed groups take over the north and capital, Sanaa, ousting Saleh by declaring themselves the Hadi government. The armed groups advance toward Aden sparking Saudi intervention and armed groups launches attack on Yemen further escalating the conflict.



Hadi government defeats armed groups. War Child launches programs in country to help children impacted by the ongoing conflict.



The United Arab Emirates support Southern Yemeni separatists and help seize control of Aden. Saleh is killed despite making alliance with Houthi’s.



Armed groups and government sign agreement to end the conflict in South.

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