MSF Projects in Yemen (June 2015)

Crisis Update: June 24, 2015

The conflict in Yemen currently has the country divided between the Houthi movement, supported by former president Saleh, which controls the north of the country (including the capital Sana’a) and continues its southward advance, and an anti-Houthi coalition based mainly in the South.  President Hadi of the transitional government fled to Saudi Arabia in March.

In Yemen, MSF works in Aden, Al-Dhale’, Taiz, Sa’ada, Amran, Hajja, Ibb, and Sana’a. To date, MSF has brought 105 tons of humanitarian aid supplies to the facilities it runs and supports in Yemen, and has received more than 3,800 war-wounded patients since March 19, 2015.

Yemen: Latest MSF Updates

A coalition of mainly Gulf states led by Saudi Arabia started airstrikes against the Houthi on March 26, with the declared aim of stopping the advance of the Houthi and to reinstate President Hadi. The Houthi are seen by Saudi Arabia as a proxy group for Iran. Other countries participating in this Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi are Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, UAE, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Sudan. Other countries, including the USA, are providing logistics and intelligence support.

While the political struggle unfolds, civilians are caught in the crossfire. The UN reports that in the month up to April 25 at least 1,080 people have been killed, over 4,350 have been injured, and 150,000 have been displaced, though MSF is unable to confirm this information.

MSF is responding to the needs of civilians affected by violence. It remains extremely difficult to move within the country to evaluate needs and provide assistance, due to the fighting and the airstrikes.


MSF runs an independent emergency surgical hospital within Al-Sadaqa hospital compound in Sheikh Othman District, and has been supporting Crater Health Center with staff who provide trauma care, medication, and fuel for the power generator twenty-four hours a day. The hospital includes an emergency department, operating theater, intensive care unit, surgical outpatient department, follow-up clinic, inpatient department, x-ray, laboratory, and pharmacy, and provides mental health and physiotherapy services.

MSF is also running outpatient surgical mobile clinics in Enma, As-Sha’b, and Crater to provide care to surgical patients who cannot access MSF hospitals.

Since the beginning of 2015, MSF has received 2,380 patients in the Aden emergency room and performed 2,259 surgeries.  Since March 19, MSF has received more than 2,200 war-wounded patients.


Since mid-May, MSF has been providing general consultations in mobile clinics for internally displaced people (IDPs) who fled their homes in several different areas. MSF has provided more than 3,400 general consultations and activities are still ongoing. MSF has also provided water tanks, non-food items, and hygiene kits for more than 500 IDP families living in 12 locations in Khamer, and is conducting health promotion activities for IDPs and cleaning the sewage system in the Central Market of Khamer.

MSF is supporting lifesaving health care services in 12 departments of the Ministry of Health’s Al-Salam Hospital: emergency room, intensive care unit, surgical operations, neonatal unit, pediatrics and inpatient therapeutic center, hospitalization, neonatal unit, delivery room, antenatal care, blood bank, laboratory, vaccination, and dressing room. MSF is also supporting Huth Health Center with medications, oxygen, logistics equipment, human resources support, and electricity and referral systems.

From January 1 to June 19, MSF received 15,900 patients in the emergency rooms, performed 1,370 surgeries and 1,300 deliveries, admitted 1,446 adult inpatients and 1,200 children, and provided 2,534 antenatal and postnatal consultations and 1,708 gynecological consultations in Amran governorate.


In Hajja, MSF is supporting IDPs with water, non-food item distributions, and general medical consultations in Bani Hassan district. MSF has provided 4,742 general consultations in its mobile clinics and the health center in the district.

MSF also provided emergency and lifesaving services for injured people in Haradh Hospital. In total, the joint MSF/MoH team in Haradh hospital treated 145 war-wounded patients.


MSF continues to provide lifesaving health care services in the MoH’s Al-Nasser Hospital in Al-Dhale’. Services include a twenty-four-hour emergency room, surgery, post-operative care, sterilization, laboratory, infection control, health care waste management, and referrals.

MSF is also supporting Al-Azarik Health Center with emergency room and antenatal and postnatal services, family planning, normal deliveries, EPI, nutrition, and referrals to Al-Nasser Hospital.

In Qataba, MSF supports the twenty-four-hour emergency room, observation room, laboratory, and health care waste management in the MoH’s Al-Salam Hospital. In the last month, MSF expanded its activities to support the outpatient department and nutrition and ANC  services in the hospital. MSF also provides potable water to 25,000 people through a suitable borehole in Qataba town.

MSF also supports several health centers and Jaffea and Al-Habilain Hospitals with medical supplies and equipment.

Since the beginning of 2015, the MSF project in Al-Dhale’ has received 10,317 patients in the emergency room. Of these, 1,232 consultations were for injuries, among which more than 490 were war-wounded.


Since mid-May, MSF has supported the emergency room, operating theater, and maternity departments of Al Jumhuri hospital in Sa'ada town with an international and national medical team. MSF has performed 87 normal deliveries, received 837 patients in the emergency room (410 of which were war wounded), and performed 102 surgeries (89 of which were related to war). MSF is also supporting Haidan Health Center with a doctor, medications, and a referral system to Al-Jumhori hospital, and is planning further support for the facility.


Since the beginning of May, MSF has been providing emergency medications and surgical supplies to Al-Jumhouri, Al-Thawra, Al-Rawdah, and military hospitals that have received people affected by violence in the ongoing conflict. During this period, MSF set up and equipped three additional emergency rooms in Al-Rawdah hospital to allow extra space for mass casualties while continuing to support the hospital’s emergency room with supplies and staffing. 

MSF has four medical doctors and a nurse working in the emergency room of Al-Rawdah hospital, in addition to covering the salaries of 22 hospital staff members who are working in the emergency rooms to ensure 24/7 operation of the ER. From June 1 to 17 the hospital received a total of 617 patients, 73 of whom died. A total of 946 wounded patients were received in May 2015 alone. MSF also supported Al-Thawra hospital with “Burn Kits” when some 200 people sustained burn wounds after a tanker truck exploded in Taiz city.  MSF also provides a hospital-to-hospital referral system with four ambulances. 

Given the needs, MSF is now setting up an office in Taiz to ensure continued support during this crisis period.  An MSF team is on the ground to support and carry out further needs assessments whenever necessary.


MSF donated medical and surgical materials to Al-Thawra and Al-Qa’idah hospitals in Ibb Governorate, and is also considering one-off donations of food supplies to kitchens for IDPs based in five schools in Al-Qa’idah city. On June 1, MSF assisted the Ministry of Health with the evacuation and relocation of 509,800 vaccine doses meant for routine immunization from the Governorate Health office, which is at the frontline of the conflict, to the Ibb cold chain.


MSF donated materials for 500 dialysis sessions to the Kidney Center in Al-Jumhori Hospital in Sana’a, which will cover the registered patients for 17 days. MSF is preparing to support this center with further materials for three months, and also donated 1,000 liters of diesel fuel to produce oxygen for Al-Thawra hospital. MSF is currently trying to help with the transportation of materials for the Al-Thawra dialysis center and for other centers in the country.

MSF also provided urgent support during emergencies to local hospitals through the MoH following several blasts in Sana’a since the beginning of 2015.

Why are we there?

  • Armed conflict
  • Displacement
  • Massive flow of migrants

MSF's History in Yemen

This is an excerpt from MSF-USA's 2013 Annual Report:

There was a significant deterioration in living conditions in parts of Yemen in 2013, and insecurity towards the end of the year affected availability and accessibility of health care.

Insecurity affected programs supported by MSF, further cutting people off from health care, and activities had to be suspended twice in Amran and once in Aden.

Over 150 Yemeni patients were sent from Yemen to MSF’s reconstructive surgery program in Amman, Jordan, which provides orthopedic, maxillofacial, and reconstructive plastic surgery.


MSF continued to work in Ad-Dali governorate, but problems with security caused significant disruptions to the provision of health care there at the end of the year. Food shortages and maternal and child health are of great concern in the area.

Teams worked with local communities, both rural and urban, providing care for victims of violence and trauma. Emergency services, including surgery, were available at the Al Naser general hospital, Ad-Dali city, and patients received basic health care and lifesaving surgery in Al Azaraq and Qataba’a districts. More than 41,704 consultations were carried out. 

Aden and the South

In Aden, more than 2,500 surgeries were performed and 860 patients received post-surgery follow-up and physiotherapy at MSF’s emergency surgical unit, which treated victims of violence from Aden as well as the nearby governorates of Lahj, Abyan, Shabwah, and Ad Dhale. A weekly clinic was run for inmates at Aden central prison, and 80 patients were seen each month.

Staff support and supplies were provided to hospitals in Lawdar and Jaar in Abyan governorate. Teams also trained emergency room staff and sterilization technicians.

Amran Governorate

Access to health care decreases progressively in the rural areas of Amran governate and ceases to exist for communities in the valleys. At Al-Salam hospital, Khamir, MSF is involved in the emergency, surgery, maternity, pediatric, inpatient, and intensive care departments, and collaborates closely with the Ministry of Health to improve medical services. Support is also provided for the blood bank and laboratory. There was a dramatic rise in surgery patients towards the end of the year after violence intensified in the governorate. More than 1,940 surgical procedures were performed, and 4,080 people were admitted to hospital. Teams carried out 21,980 emergency consultations.

MSF resumed its support of the Huth health center in March, after six months’ suspension for security reasons. A team provided emergency, maternity, and inpatient care. In September, Huth became a stabilization center for managing large influxes of wounded people, providing emergency care and a referral system.

To assist the communities in remote areas with very limited access to health care, teams ran mobile clinics in the Osman and Akhraf valleys, carrying out 5,350 consultations and treating 427 patients for malaria. 

Caring for Migrants in Sana'a

MSF began providing HIV care to people in Sana’a in 2013. A mental health program for migrants in detention also started in April.

Program Handovers

In February, MSF handed over activities at the Radfan hospital, Lahj governorate, to the Ministry of Health. A program offering health care at Haradh, Hajjah governorate was closed in August. 

At the end of 2013, MSF had 459 staff in Yemen. MSF has worked in the country since 1986.

Patient Story

Mohamed, from Shabwah

My nephew was shot during gunfire in Shabwah. There was no hospital … nothing in the area. The only place we could bring him was here [MSF hospital in Aden]. We sincerely thank MSF for the unconditional medical care they offered to him and to everybody in this hospital.

Related News & Publications