Sharing to Survive: The Role of Social Networks during the Yemen Crisis
Despite ongoing crises, the humanitarian response in Yemen remains severely underfunded.
This event occurred on February 10, 2022. Watch the recording and view highlighted report now!
Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis
It is estimated that over 20 million Yemenis — 66% of the population — are in need of assistance. Nonetheless, the humanitarian response in Yemen remains severely underfunded. So how are Yemenis coping? Experts on food security, research from other contexts, and Yemenis themselves have pointed to an obvious but under-recognized answer: social connections and social networks. These informal support networks have been critical in households’ ability to mobilize tangible and intangible resources to both meet immediate needs and survive in the face of multiple shocks and stresses.
However, after nearly seven years of conflict, informal support networks are showing signs of exhaustion, with more households becoming dependent upon formal assistance. There is significant evidence that the extraordinary social solidarity of Yemeni households has been key in preventing a further deterioration of humanitarian conditions. However, aid actors have failed to fully account for the role of social networks in their response. Evidence from Taiz highlights the important role that aid actors can play in accounting for and bolstering informal support networks, both in Yemen and other protracted crises.