More information about Yemen is available on the Yemen Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.
The U.S. maintained a diplomatic presence in Aden as early as the 1880s, but this was primarily for consular purposes relating to American citizen services. In 1959, the United States opened a consulate based in Ta’iz focused mainly on economic and humanitarian assistance. Military leaders in Sana’a launched a revolutionary movement on September 26, 1962, which attempted to overthrow the monarchy and establish the Yemen Arab Republic. The United States recognized the new republican government on December 19, 1962. The Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) severed relations with the United States on June 7, 1967 in the wake of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Diplomatic relations were reestablished in July 1972 after a visit to Sana’a by U.S. Secretary of State William P. Rogers. The United States opened an Embassy in Aden in 1967 with the establishment of the independent People’s Republic of Southern Yemen (South Yemen) but closed the embassy when South Yemen severed diplomatic relations with the United States on October 24, 1969. In 1970, the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen changed its name to the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen and on April 30, 1990, the United States resumed diplomatic relations with the country. Yemeni unification occurred on May 22, 1990, as the Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen unified under the Republic of Yemen. In 1994, civil war broke out in Yemen over North-South contentions. After reunification Yemen elected Ali Abdullah Saleh, former president of the Yemen Arab Republic, to lead the country.
Demonstrations against then-President Ali Abdallah Saleh in early 2011 led him to step down in November 2011 through a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-brokered initiative, and in February 2012, Abdo Rabo Mansour Hadi was elected as president of the Republic of Yemen for a two-year transition period.
Yemen’s peaceful political transition was interrupted in the fall of 2014 when the Houthis, allied with forces loyal to ex-President Saleh, entered the capital, and subsequently seized control of government institutions – sending the Hadi government into exile in Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led Coalition of ten member states initiated an air campaign in March 2015. The Houthis continue to control much of the north-west, including Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a. Meanwhile, the legitimate Republic of Yemen Government (ROYG) re-established a presence in southern Yemen, including the port city of Aden, which it declared its temporary capital. Amid rising tensions between the Houthis and ex-President Saleh, sporadic clashes erupted in mid-2017, and Houthi forces killed Saleh in early December 2017. The December 2018 UN-brokered Stockholm Agreement halted a ROYG offensive with Coalition support to wrest control of the Red Sea port of Hudaydah from the Houthis but did not deliver a broader cessation in hostilities. Houthi forces have launched multiple rocket and ballistic missile attacks into the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and toward Red Sea shipping lanes, further increasing tensions in the region. In April 2022, the UN brokered a two-month truce that led to a reduction in hostilities and cessation in cross-border attacks; the truce was extended on June 1 for another 60 days. April 2022 also saw President Hadi cede power to an eight-person Presidential Leadership Council, led by President Rashad al-Alimi. The United States, in February 2021, named a Special Envoy for Yemen to intensify efforts in coordination with the UN to bring a negotiated end to the conflict.
U.S. Assistance to Yemen
The ongoing conflict has exacerbated already high levels of need in Yemen, creating one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world. The UN estimates that more than 23.4 million people, or nearly 75 percent of the entire population, need humanitarian assistance in 2022, including 12.9 million people in acute need.
Since the crisis began eight years ago, the U.S. government has provided nearly $4.5 billion to alleviate the suffering of the people of Yemen. In fiscal year 2021, the U.S. government provided more than $711 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen. At a March 2022 pledging event, the U.S. Government announced nearly $585 million in new humanitarian assistance to include more than $561 million in funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for emergency food assistance, as well as prevention and treatment of severe malnutrition and humanitarian protection for vulnerable populations. In addition, USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture will use $282 million from the Bill Emerson Humanitarian Trust in six countries, including Yemen, to address the historic levels of acute food insecurity and wheat price increases resulting from the Government of the Russian Federation’s invasion of Ukraine. Through USAID and the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, the U.S. Government supports emergency food assistance, medical treatment and vaccination support for children, emergency obstetric services for women, blankets and household goods for displaced families, and hygiene kits and water treatment supplies to reduce the spread of disease. This also includes support for vulnerable refugees and migrants living in Yemen.
USAID also supports a focused portfolio of development activities in areas under the control of the Republic of Yemen Government. The U.S. Government supports improvements in Yemen’s fiscal and monetary policy management; trade facilitation reporting; access to and availability of essential health, education, and water and sanitation services; COVID-19 prevention and mitigation, including the donation of over 300,000 vaccines, cold chain storage and logistics support, infection prevention and control, and the provision of oxygen; economic
opportunities for the most vulnerable Yemenis; community resilience and conflict mitigation; and strategic support to the peace process.
U.S. Embassy Sana’a suspended operations in February 2015. The U.S. Ambassador to Yemen leads the Yemen Affairs Unit (YAU) based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, through which we maintain our diplomatic engagement with the Yemeni government.
Yemen maintains an embassy in the United States at 2319 Wyoming Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel: 202-965-4760).
More information about Yemen is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here: