After two years of relentless conflict, Yemen faces a humanitarian crisis quickly engulfing the majority of its population. According to latest United Nations reports published in April 2017, an alarming 18.8 million people - almost two thirds of the population - need humanitarian assistance or protection support. Since mid-2015, when Houthi rebel forces took over the capital city of Sana'a, at least three million people have fled their homes from regions now embroiled in a prolonged ground war. As a result of the fighting, public services have broken down. Less than half of the health centers function with medical supplies at a critically low supply. As of May 2017, the 1.3 million plus civil servants were entering an eighth month of not having been paid. This statistic includes the thousands of doctors, nurses and paramedics who continue to work despite the increasingly bleak future.
As almost all foreign media is presently banned from the country, it was through the UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs and Coordination that I was given a month of rare access to document the declining humanitarian situation. In that time, we covered over 2,200km on the roads and visited many IDP settlements, hospitals and remote mountain towns. The physical beauty of Yemen is not lost whilst traveling but the stories of pain, conflict and injury bear no relation to the spectacular rural landscapes. This is a country now deeply fractured by war and, unless there is some kind of peace agreement sometime soon, it seems very likely that the already desperate situation will plunge further into the abyss.
All images shot in April & May 2017.
For additional information about Giles Clarke: www.gilesnclarke.com