Since early 2015, Yemen has been faced with a civil war and the devastating consequences of the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Prior to the conflict, Yemen was already the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa region. With an economy traditionally reliant on oil and gas for revenue, lack of diversification of economic sources and stalled economic reforms have resulted in the nation’s Central Bank not being able to support imports of critical goods along with rising inflation and businesses laying people off their jobs.
With a no longer operational Social Welfare Fund,which was a cash transfer program for the most vulnerable of the population, those most in need are left to fend for themselves. Infrastructure and public institutions that provide essential services like education, healthcare, and sanitation have collapsed along with a downward economy. High fuel costs have led to lack of refrigeration at medical facilities for medications.
According to the United Nations, as of 2020, 24.1 million people (80 percent of the population) are in need of protection and humanitarian assistance, including more than 14 million who are in acute need. Lack of clean water has led to the largest modern cholera outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic is spreading across the country. Thereby, an already fragile medical system with medicine shortages is facing more challenges and a strained capacity.