What we do

Our work

The United Nations (UN) is an international organization founded in 1945. It is currently made up of 193 Member States. The mission and work of the UN is guided by the purposes and principles contained in its Founding Charter. The United Nations has been supporting Yemen for 60 years and is working on development, humanitarian and political issues.

Yemen is facing a tragic and complex political and humanitarian crisis with grave implications for the country’s population. The conflict has led to a devastating humanitarian situation and high levels of civilian causalities.  The UN in Yemen is striving to promote peace, security and relief to the affected population of Yemen.

Political Transition

unct-ye-sesg-meeting-image-2016Yemen Peace Talks, Geneva, December 2015. UN Photo

On 21 October 2011, the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 2014, which urged Secretary-General to continue to exercise his good offices to support Yemen’s political transition. The United Nations Secretary-General established a Special Political Mission for Yemen to facilitate the political transition, as specified in Security Council resolutions 2014 (2011) and 2051 (2012), and reaffirmed through subsequent resolutions in 2014 and 2015.

The Mission focuses on supporting Yemen’s return to a peaceful political transition in accordance with the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative, the outcomes of the National Dialogue and Security Council resolutions through:

  • Engagement with all sides in Yemen, including the Government, political parties, civil society organizations, women, youth and other actors in support of an inclusive Yemeni-led transition;
  • Leading United Nations support and coordinating international assistance to the key processes of the transition;
  • Working closely with the members of the, the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Security Council and other international partners to ensure strong and consistent international backing for peace and stability in Yemen.

On 25 April 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed of Mauritania as his Special Envoy for Yemen.

Since his appointment, the Special Envoy has worked to secure a comprehensive and permanent ceasefire as well as agreements which will return Yemen to a peaceful political transition. To achieve this, the Special Envoy has conducted numerous rounds of consultations with regional and international stakeholders, Yemeni political parties and civil society in Switzerland (2015) and Kuwait (2016) .

The Special Envoy provides briefings to the Security Council, on behalf of the Secretary-General, on developments in Yemen, including on the implementation of the outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference, every 60 days.

Humanitarian Response

unct-ye-wfp-boy-image-2016(Photo: Ammar Bamatraf, WFP)

The escalation of the conflict in March 2015 and restrictions on commercial imports contributed to a steady deterioration of the humanitarian situation in a country which was already suffering from decades of poverty, underdevelopment, environmental decline, intermittent conflict, weak rule of law, and widespread human rights violations.

The conflict has been brutal and has exacted a severe toll on civilians. Over a year and a half into the escalation of the conflict some 2.8 million have been displaced and 13.6 million people are being targeted to receive humanitarian assistance.

Under the leadership of the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen (HC), and the support of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations agencies and the humanitarian partners are participating in the humanitarian response across all 22 governorates.

OCHA's overall goal in Yemen is to ensure the delivery of effective and principled humanitarian action that meets the needs of the most vulnerable people. To achieve this, OCHA supports the Humanitarian Coordinator and humanitarian partners in operational coordination, humanitarian financing, public information, advocacy and information management.  To this end, OCHA works closely with the government and humanitarian partners at all levels to enhance the coherence and quality of humanitarian response.


Development Agenda

unct-ye-undp-man-image-2015(Photo: UNDP)

The Resident Coordinator (RC) and UN Country Team (UNCT) implement the UNDG strategic priorities by identifying the national policies, programmes and capacity development gaps and challenges, to which the UN system can best contribute under national ownership and leadership by mobilizing the full range of mandates and expertise of the UN development system.

The UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) is the main guiding strategic framework of the UN system operational activities for development, through which to support national development priorities, to promote international norms and standards including human rights, as well as to respond to human rights/humanitarian/crisis/transition situations towards the achievement of sustainable development. The Yemen UNDAF has been extended three times with the current extension ending in 2018. The current political situation in Yemen requires a different working modality for the UN, hence the UNCT developed the UN Strategic Framework which incorporates the political, humanitarian and development spheres of the UN’s mandate and operations.

The RC and his office aim to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency of UN activities in Yemen. The coordination of UN operations promotes stronger strategic support to national plans and priorities, increases the efficiency of operations and reduces transaction costs.