The International Rescue Committee (IRC) is deeply concerned about the impacts of the military escalation in Yemen and the Red Sea for humanitarian needs across the country. 

Jared Rowell, IRC Yemen Country Director said:  

“The military escalation in Yemen and the Red Sea poses a threat to people in Yemen and the stability of the wider region. Yemenis across the country have woken up fearing a return to conflict. Nine years of war have taken an immense toll, leaving more than 18 million people – over half the population - in urgent need of assistance. The ongoing attacks in the Red Sea are already impacting the delivery of commercial and humanitarian aid to the country, resulting in delays in shipments of lifesaving commodities and rising costs of food and fuel. 

The US/UK strikes today underscore the risk of a wider regional and international confrontation that could further undermine the fragile peace process and regional security. All diplomatic channels must be used to de-escalate the crisis, protect civilian lives, and ensure the Red Sea remains open as a safe shipping lane. In addition, an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza must be reached to prevent the spread of violence.” 

The IRC has been working in Yemen since 2012 and rapidly scaled our programming in 2015 to address greater humanitarian needs caused by the conflict. While the ongoing conflict and restrictions of air and seaports create challenges to our operations, the IRC’s 350-person staff in Yemen and 650 paid volunteers have maintained access to affected populations and continue to provide critical healthcare, economic empowerment, women’s protection and empowerment, and nutrition programming. Learn more about the IRC’s Yemen response.