UN-Habitat established presence in Yemen in 2018. Since then, UN-Habitat has supported the government and people of Yemen to develop Rapid City and Neighbourhood Profiling for 7 cities (Sana, Aden, Taiz, Sada’a, Ma’arib, Al-Huta and Zinzibar). The city profiling will reflect on the context of Yemen that is suffering from protracted armed conflict since 2015. It will include an analysis on the damage assessment and effect of war on the political, social and economic conditions. The profiling will feed into the national and city recovery plan.

UN-Habitat Yemen is also focusing on helping the most vulnerable, most affected population in a number of cities to rehabilitate damaged housing and community infrastructure facilities and systems; starting with Al-Hudaydah and expanding to other most affected cities, with the aim to provide safe, adequate and dignified living conditions. Given the huge influx of IDPs to urban settings looking for safe heaven, they usually lose their Housing, Land and Property documentations, hence UN-Habitat and GLTN is working jointly with UNCHR, UN Women and UNHCR to start an initiative to increase Access for Women to HLP rights.


As one of the poorest and world’s least developed countries, Yemen is encountering daunting political and socio-economic challenges. Though predominantly rural, Yemen has been experiencing rapid urbanization fuelled by high population growth and rapid rural-to-urban migration. The largest proportion of Yemen’s population is located in the agricultural regions and key urban agglomerations. High levels of poverty have manifested themselves through declined socio-economic situation, high unemployment, low education attainment, poor infrastructure as well as scarcity of water resources; especially among children, youth and women.

Yemen has become the largest humanitarian crisis globally as well as the largest and the most widespread food security crisis, with an estimated 22.2 million people in need of  humanitarian or protection assistance. Half of the Yemeni population live in areas directly affected by conflict. The crisis resulted in the almost total collapse of basic services and institutions, as well as immense pressure on essential basic services resulting in the collapse of institutions.

Urban numbers
3.3 million people remain displaced, up from 2.2 million in 2018.
17.8 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation.
81 per cent of Yemenis are now below the poverty line – an increase of one-third since 2014.

Leaving no one and no place behind

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The City Profiling will include the main humanitarian sectors. The indicators selected by these sectors are, in many cases, rights-based (e.g. sufficient access to safe water; access to health services; access to education; access to food, access to housing, etc.). City profiling will therefore provide an instrument for monitoring the realization of the full range of human rights within the urban context.

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Gender disaggregated data will be collected to ensure that the needs of women and men are captured. Key informants focus group discussions will be important tools in the process. Needs of women, including women-headed households, will be assessed through focus-groups and reflected in the neighborhood profiles and community plans. Neighborhood Profiles will describe the disproportionate consequences of the civil unrest specific to women and children and highlight priorities that are specific to both women and young men.

This will ensure fostering gender responsive urban recovery by focusing on women’s access to, use of and control over housing, land and property rights.

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The recovery plans at the city level will better target children, youth and elderly aspects in humanitarian response and recovery initiatives.

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The city recovery plans and strategic construction and rehabilitation projects will incorporate the designs for people with special needs and disabilities.

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Donors and partners

UN-Habitat Yemen is working closely with the government counterpart at the national, governorate and city levels, and has collaboration partnerships with INGO and NGOs to ensure access to the most affected project areas where UN-Habitat staff can not reach due to security conditions. UN-Habitat and GLTN is working closely to develop a new programme to increase access for Women to HLP rights, in collaboration with UNCHR, UNHCR and UN Women.


Wael Al-Ashhab
Head of Country programme

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