On the occasion of World Water Day, the Yemen Policy Center wants to put Yemen’s water crisis and the millions of Yemenis who do not have access to clean water at the center of attention. Yemen has long suffered from a chronic water scarcity, exacerbated by rising population, increasing urbanization, and poor water management. Over the years, Yemen’s water shortage has endangered livelihoods, economic growth, and food security. A deadly combination of climate change and civil war has made the situation increasingly dire. Today, nearly 18 million Yemenis lack access to clean water, sanitation, or hygiene, leading to the worst cholera outbreak in modern history which has infected millions of Yemenis.
Although it is unclear to what extent Yemen’s water scarcity has driven the current conflict, it has been an important contributing factor to local conflict and instability. The strong link between water scarcity and increasing instability requires immediate attention from local, regional and international actors who are invested in peacebuilding in Yemen. Both technical and political solutions are needed to address the water crisis. Yet, the topic of water does not receive the attention it requires.