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Yemen Humanitarian Crisis

   Sep 26, 2018

CharityWatch announces a list of highly efficient and accountable charities involved in efforts to provide emergency relief and humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen.

ATTENTION: The charities listed in this alert were Top-Rated by CharityWatch at the time of its publication. CharityWatch updates our ratings throughout the year. To see if a particular charity is currently Top-Rated, please click on its name, below.

Since 2014 war has ravaged the country of Yemen. Yemen has historically been the Middle East’s most poverty-stricken country. According to the United Nations, the country continues to face the world’s worst and largest humanitarian crisis. It is estimated that more than 8 million people in Yemen are on the verge of famine, and about 22 of its 29 million people need assistance. The U.N. humanitarian chief, Mark Lowcock, has warned that the fight against famine is being lost in Yemen as they predict that an additional 10 million people could potentially become severely food insecure by the end of 2018.  Compounding the famine crisis, more than one million cases of cholera have been reported since 2017.

The need for humanitarian aid in Yemen has dramatically increased since 2017, and the U.N. and many humanitarian groups continue to escalate their aid operations. Mark Lowcock of the U.N. warns “humanitarian organizations simply cannot look after the needs of all 29 million Yemenis. That is untenable.” Furthermore, Mr. Lowcock said two recent developments are blamed in threatening to overwhelm current aid operations – a “dramatic economic collapse” that has reduced the value of Yemen’s currency by some 30% and increased fighting around the Red Sea port of Hodeida, which is Yemen’s main port for deliveries of food, medicine and other critical supplies. More than 70% of the country’s imports are channeled through Hodeida’s port, and if it becomes inaccessible, millions of Yemenis will be unable to get the food they need to survive.

The situation in Yemen is expected to worsen and funding for continued aid is urgently needed.

The charities listed below perform favorably in relation to CharityWatch benchmarks:
1)  A charity should spend at least 75% of its budget on program services.
2)  A charity should spend no more than $25 to raise $100.

Contact your favorite charities to find out if they provide the specific types of aid that you would like to fund, e.g., emergency shelters, food and water, health care, psychological trauma counseling, etc.


As with any charitable contribution, Americans wanting to help with humanitarian relief efforts should only give to legitimate charities with an established track record of helping people in need.

  • Be on guard for a surge of solicitations related to any highly publicized crisis. There will be fraudulent charity solicitations, some involving websites and email links attempting to steal your credit card information for identity theft or insert malware on your computer.
  • Do not respond to, or click on any attachments, links or pictures included in, emails or text messages received from unknown senders.
  • Social media will include many fake victims. Do not donate to unknown individuals purporting to need aid that post on Facebook, GoFundMe, etc. These may be fraudsters, and even if they are legitimate victims, they may receive an unfairly large amount of aid.
  • Scammers may try to use copy-cat names similar to those of well-known charities. Avoid name confusion by independently verifying that the charity is legitimate before you donate. Reputable charities will not pressure you to give immediately.
  • Beware of individuals or others claiming to be third party intermediaries for charities or those in need. It is best to give directly only to the charities that you are confident are legitimate and recognized for providing humanitarian relief.


The best way to help is by sending a check or donating securely by credit card. Such cash donations enable charities to buy the most needed types of food, medicine, clothing, shelter materials, and other supplies. By buying relief products locally or regionally, charities can reduce shipping costs and more rapidly deliver assistance. Before sending any goods, first contact the charity to find out if they are appropriate and if it will be cost effective to distribute them. For example, after a tsunami in the Pacific, boxes of donated winter coats, scarves and fuzzy hats, completely useless items in tsunami-stricken nations with tropical climates, were sent.

CharityWatch identifies the following Top-Rated charities, which are providing assistance to the people of Yemen and receive an “A” or “B+” grade based on the portion of their budget going to program services and their fundraising efficiency. Top-Rated charities also must meet CharityWatch's Governance and Transparency benchmarks. Contact the organizations below for information on specific assistance operations now underway.

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