How many people are affected by the humanitarian crisis in Yemen?

You must have heard about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen The country has gone through nine years of war. An estimated 4.5 million people-14 percent of the population are currently displaced, according to the United Nations

However, this desert country holds a rich history and vibrant culture that have been influenced by the countrys strategic location at the souther entrance of the Red Sea.


For more than two millennia Yemen controlled the supply of important commoilities as frankincense and myrrh and dominated the traite in many other valuable items, such as the spices and armatics of Asia. Over the years, the region was ruled by three famous and large empires the Minaran, the Sabaran, and the Himyante Toallest Homertoe by the Romans) Their time of ascendancy extended from about 1200 BC to 525 AD The last Humyante king was Dhu Nuwas. The region was later ruled by the Aksumites and then Persians before the advent of Islam in 628 AD

During the 16th and 17th Centunes, Yemen and the Red Sea became the centre point of conflict between the Egyptians. the Ottomans and various European powers seeking control over the emerging market for coffee arabica and the long-standing trade in condiments and spices from the East

The country lost its importance and charm when the coffee plant was smuggled out of Yemen and transplanted in other places. With the shift in trade centres, the cities such as Aden and Mocha (once a major coffee centre) shrank to villages The present Republic of Yemen came into being in May 1990.


Yemen is bounded by the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea, the Red Sea, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman. It is an arid country with no permanent watercourses. There are evidences of volcanic activity that happened a few hundred years ago.

In the interiors, rugged mountains, including the Sarawat Mountains, can be found. The eastern region is part of the fifth-largest desert in the world, the Rub al-Khali (nicknamed “the Empty Quarter’). It is the longest stretch of continuous sand in the world.

Flora and fauna

 Due to its remoteness, Yemen has great natural beauty and flourishing vegetation in the highlands, unlike elsewhere on the Arabian Peninsula. The country is divided into three regions-coastal plain, middle highlands and the mountains.

In the coastal plains, dry-climate plants such as the date palm, citrus fruits, banana, and cotton as well as spurges (euphorbia), acacia, and tamarisk can be found. In the middle highlands, food crops as melons, nuts, grapes, and grains, as well as various spurges, eucalyptus, sycamore, fig, and carob are found.

Meanwhile, crops such as coffee, the mild stimulant khat, and a variety of woody shrubs and trees can be found in the mountain regions.

While the country had considerable forest cover till the early 20th Century, it diminished by the turn of the century. This was the same case with the country’s wildlife.


Arabs make up most of the population in Yemen. The others include those of Somali descent along the coasts and small Egyptian communities. The citizens are extremely proud of their pre-Islamic history, including that of the Saba and Hadramawt kingdoms. The traditional and contemporary Yemeni culture has presence of Greek, Roman, Indian, Indonesian, and Chinese influence.

Though the traditional cuisine is somewhat similar to other areas of the Arabian Peninsula, it is also influenced by the cuisine of eastern Africa and South Asia. A popular dish in Yemen is saltah, a stew of lamb or chicken heavily spiced with fenugreek and other herbs.

The best known cultural artefact is domestic architecture that dates back more than 2,000 years. The city of Sanaa and the towns of Zabid and Shibam are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.


To understand the form of government in Yemen, it is to be noted that the country was once divided as North Yemen and South Yemen. North Yemen was under the rule of the Ottoman Empire while South Yemen was governed by the British. North Yemen became independent after World War I and South Yemen didn’t gain its independence from the British until 1967. This caused both regions to have contrasting political systems.

North Yemen was a republic governed nominally under a constitution adopted in 1970. South Yemen, also republican in form, had a Marxist regime wherein the Yemen Socialist Party was the only legal political organisation that determined government policy and exercised control over the state administrative system, the legislature, and the military.

A unified political system was created in 1990, which introduced the multiparty representative democracy. The President is the head of state who is responsible for appointing the Vice-President and the Prime Minister (head of the government).

At present, the country is led by Rashad al-Alimi, chairman of the Presidential Leadership Council after then-President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi transferred his powers to the council in April 2022. The Presidential Leadership Council was formed in 2022. It is responsible for negotiating with the Houthis to agree an a permanent ceasefire and a political solution to the war.

Picture Credit: Google

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