CRS in Yemen

A humanitarian crisis has devastated the lives of families across Yemen as the civil war, which started in 2014, continues between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the government, backed by a Saudi Arabia‑led coalition. With insecurity, economic decline, and disruption of public services severely limiting people’s access to food or income, 67% of the population is in urgent need of aid, including 2 million children suffering from acute malnutrition. Health systems have collapsed, along with access to clean water and sanitation, and over 8 million children need support to access education.

Catholic Relief Services has been working closely with local partners in Yemen since the onset of the crisis to help families to access vital services and rebuild their lives and communities. CRS is currently working with three partners - Education for Employment, Caritas Poland, and SOUL for Development — to support youth livelihoods, strengthen health systems, and restore safe learning environments in vulnerable communities.

Staffing Medical Facilities – Training and Jobs for Young People

In partnership with Education for Employment, a Middle East-focused job training network, CRS addresses the dual challenges of health facilities’ lack of qualified medical professionals and the country’s high rate of youth unemployment. Although many young people have academic certificates in health care fields, the majority graduate without key skills needed to be qualified medical workers, leaving overstretched health facilities without skilled staff. 

CRS and EFE have built partnerships with health facilities and run a youth training and jobs program based on the facilities’ staffing needs. The program engages young people from highly vulnerable backgrounds, such as those from displaced families, with a focus on gender equality, supporting women’s participation and workforce entry. CRS and EFE provide youth participants with training in job readiness, information technology, and English for Medical Purposes and on-the-job training through apprenticeships. After participants complete their training, CRS and Education for Employment match them with job opportunities at partner medical facilities. Based on this successful model, CRS and EFE have also scaled their work to public vocational training institutes, assisting these institutes to improve their training and better prepare their students for employment in the healthcare sector. Through these efforts, young people graduate and fill critical staffing gaps at medical facilities, coming in as qualified and capable new staff members, and gaining sustainable work to support themselves and their families.

Strengthening health, water and sanitation systems

In partnership with Caritas Poland, CRS provides lifesaving health and water, sanitation and hygiene support to vulnerable communities by supporting the continued operations of three health facilities in Aden governorate. These health facilities struggled to stay open amid the pressures of the war and fell into disrepair as the public system collapsed.

CRS helped rehabilitate these facilities and helps ensure health facilities can continue providing lifesaving primary health services to communities home to over 26,000 people. CRS and Caritas Poland provide comprehensive support to health facilities, including funding and training medical workers and other staff, providing medicine and supplies, and ensuring maintenance and quality operation of the facility and its water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure. CRS and Caritas Poland also support the health facilities’ community health worker teams, who expand health services across the community, especially to distant or hard-to-reach areas. The community health worker teams, which include midwives, provide referrals, conduct malnutrition screening, support mother and child health and manage pregnancies, and raise awareness about appropriate health, hygiene, and disease prevention.

Safe and Nurturing Learning Environments

In partnership with SOUL for Development, CRS is responding to children’s urgent need to access safe, quality education by supporting two schools in Aden governorate and working with the Ministry of Education to improve early childhood education. The public education system has been severely impacted by the ongoing war and economic decline, with damaged and overcrowded schools, shortage of qualified teachers, and outdated curricula.

CRS is providing holistic support to two high-need public schools, which serve over 3,000 primary and secondary students. CRS and SOUL are rehabilitating key school infrastructure, including classrooms and water and sanitation facilities, providing school supplies, training teachers, and activating parent-teacher councils to promote a safe and quality learning environment. CRS has also supported three early childhood education centers, serving over 1,200 pre-primary students, with critical educational supplies. CRS is engaging with the Ministry of Education to improve the government’s early childhood education system, with plans to develop a quality educational curriculum and train early childhood educators.


Population: 32.98 million

Size: 527,970 square kilometers (203,850 square miles)

CRS' History in Yemen

CRS began work in Yemen in 2018.Along with local partners, CRS is working to strengthen health systems, support young people to find work, and provide a quality education for children in a safe environment.