Flag of Yemen


Yemen Sana'a mountains
Mountains in Sana’a form the backdrop for the distinctive multi-story, brown brick “gingerbread” houses common in Yemen.
U.S. Embassy Sana’a

USAID has been operating in Yemen since 1959. The agency’s early programs provided food, water, road, and agriculture assistance. In 1975, USAID opened its mission in Sana’a and assistance in that decade focused on land, mineral and soil surveys, as well as agriculture. In the 1980s, funding to Yemen more than quadrupled, and expanded to include assistance for education, health and clean water.  USAID withdrew much of its funding for Yemen in the aftermath of the Gulf War in the early 1990s, and closed the mission in 1996.

The mission reopened in Sana’a in 2003 with a focus on basic education, maternal and child health, and agriculture. USAID funding also supported democratic reforms, voter education, strengthening civil society and encouraging the participation of women and youth in the political transition. USAID also provides humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable Yemenis and funds programs that improve education, provide basic health services, and foster economic growth.

The insecure operating environment forced closure of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and suspension of USAID development projects in 2015. But USAID continues to provide humanitarian assistance to Yemen and operates early recovery programs, working with partners inside Yemen to maintain key sectors such as health, education, and livelihoods. Early recovery activities build on humanitarian assistance and lay the groundwork for reactivating full development programs should the political and security situation improve. 


Last updated: September 11, 2019

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