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. U.S. diplomatic representation in North Yemen began in 1959 with a consulate based in Ta’iz focused mainly on economic and humanitarian assistance, and in South Yemen in 1967. The North had previously been part of the Ottoman Empire, and the South had been ruled by the United Kingdom. Military leaders in North Yemen 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 U.S. 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 U.S. embassy in Aden closed when the People’s Republic of Southern Yemen severed diplomatic relations with the U.S. 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 U.S. resumed diplomatic relations with the country. Yemeni unification occurred on May 22, 1990. The Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen unified under the Republic of Yemen in 1990. In 1994 civil war broke out in Yemen over North-South contentions and the country continues to struggle with issues over unification. After reunification Yemen elected Ali Abdullah Saleh, former president of the Yemen Arab Republic, to lead the country.
Demonstrations against former president 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 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 Ali Abdallah 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 country remains deeply divided, with pockets of violent conflict ongoing. The Houthis continue to control much of the north-west, including the capital, Sana’a. Meanwhile, the legitimate Yemeni government re-established a presence in southern Yemen, including the port city of Aden. 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. Beginning in June 2018, Yemeni forces, supported by their Coalition partners, have sought to wrest control from Houthi forces occupying the port of Hudaydah on the Red Sea. Houthi forces have launched multiple rocket and ballistic missile attacks into the territory of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and toward Red Sea shipping lanes, further increasing tensions in the region.
U.S. Embassy Sanaa suspended operations in February 2015. The U.S. Ambassador to Yemen is Christopher Henzel, who 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).
U.S. Assistance to Yemen
The ongoing conflict exacerbated already high levels of need in Yemen, pushing the country into a humanitarian crisis. The UN estimates that more than 24 million people, or 75% of the entire population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, more than any other single country today.
The U.S. government has provided more than $721 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen since the beginning of fiscal year 2017. Through USAID and the Bureau for Population Refugees and Migration, the U.S. Government supports interventions including 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.
USAID also supports a small number of health, education, and livelihoods early recovery assistance activities seek to help households and social service delivery systems cope with the effects of the conflict and prepare for the post-conflict recovery. However, the insecure operating environment and ongoing bureaucratic impediments continue to limit development programming.
More information about Yemen is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:
CIA World Factbook Yemen Page
U.S. Embassy: Yemen
USAID Yemen Page
History of U.S. Relations With Yemen
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics
Office of Foreign Assets Control Sanctions Page