top of page

Country Climate Report: Yemen

Countries internationally have experienced flooding, fires, and extreme heat. The Middle East has been a region especially devastated by the effects of climate change, warming at nearly twice the global average.[1]Iraq faces droughts killing agriculture; Alexandria, which inhabits 2 million people, is experiencing rising sea levels; and Jordan is struggling with water scarcity and polluted rivers.[2] Of the countries in the region facing the impeding intersection of climate change and human rights crises, Yemen exhibits the most impending threat to its citizens’ human rights.

In addition to the droughts affecting the Yemeni population, intense cyclones and storms are also devastating the people. It was predicted that during the October and November months of 2019 that Yemen would be hit by two cyclones, Kyarr and Maha. When analyses of the cyclones were completed, OCHA predicted over 830,000 individuals would be impacted in the southern coastal regions of Yemen.[3] The possible outcomes cited casualties, displacement, and the disruption of Al Mukalla port – responsible for delivering food and fuel to three major cities​ in the country.[4] Further, with Saudi Arabia blockading access to food, fuel, and humanitarian aid, the effect of a cyclone on Yemen would be devastating to the already famished population. Neither one of the predicted cyclones made landfall in Yemen, but their threat raised questions about Yemen’s preparedness for natural disasters.

Following the cyclones that hit Yemen in 2018, 17,000 people were left displaced.[5] The possibility of internal displacement in Yemen also raises alarm due to the threat of land safety as Houthi forces have planted landmines across the country.[6] If the war persists, the internal displacement of civilians due to natural disasters would force them into more regions of explosive land as well as greater rates of famine and casualties. While there was a brief ceasefire in 2022, the warring sides did not extend the established peace offering, putting Yemen at risk of continued war. Yemen, while distinctive in its crises, is representative of the billions of people in war-torn and impoverished countries also facing threat of climate emergencies. Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Palestine, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti are few examples of the ‘ordinary’ population desperate for western intervention on climate legislation to prevent further catastrophe to their people.

[1] Greenpeace, ‘MENA Region Warming at Nearly Twice the Global Average’ (Greenpeace Middle East and North Africa 2022). <> accessed 5 December 2022. [2] ibid [3] ACAPS, ‘Yemen: Cyclones Update October – November 2019’ (Yemen Analysis Hub 2019). [4] ACAPS, ‘Yemen: Cyclones Update October – November 2019’ (Yemen Analysis Hub 2019). [5] ACAPS, ‘Yemen: Cyclones Update October – November 2019’ (Yemen Analysis Hub 2019). [6]Human Rights Watch, ‘Yemen: Events of 2019’ (World Report 2020) <> accessed 3 December 2022.

bottom of page