Media Contact: Jeremy Jacobs [email protected] (858) 531-3362

  • ShelterBox will begin emergency shelter distributions in Yemen in March.
  • Effort will help shelter families in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
  • More than 4 million people in Yemen have lost their homes.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Global humanitarian relief organization ShelterBox will begin distributing emergency shelter in Yemen next month, responding what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

An estimated 4 million civilians have fled their homes and possessions during Yemen’s civil war, which began in 2014. Heavy spring rains have caused flooding the last two years, leading to fears it could happen again as concerns rise about the spread of COVID-19, cholera, and malaria.

Whole Yemeni communities have been caught in a cycle of displacement, fleeing their homes only to set up new shelters they then have to leave again due to extreme weather or changes in the frontlines of the conflict.

Air blockades have made it almost impossible to send aid for many years. Two thirds of the entire population need humanitarian assistance and most people who have been displaced have been away from home for more than two years.

ShelterBox, will start distributing aid next month, including tarps, water filters, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, solar lights, soap, and wash basins.

“The civil war has devastated the economy, destroyed critical infrastructure, and left millions homeless in Yemen,” said ShelterBox President Kerri Murray. “Families in Ma’rib have been forced to build makeshift shelters from sticks, rags, plastic sheeting, and anything they can find, as they fight for their survival between COVID-19 and a brutal conflict that has left them displaced and without access to basic services.”

“ShelterBox is working with the humanitarian coordination system in Yemen to address the most urgent needs, providing emergency shelter and essential household items to help the most vulnerable people,” Murray added. “Our tents, tarps, sleeping mats, tools, kitchen sets, and equipment will help provide privacy and protection to people living in overcrowded camps, damaged homes, and abandoned buildings. We are doing everything possible to expand our capacity to provide lifesaving relief in Yemen.”

ShelterBox’s aid will shield civilians from rain, provide safe drinking water and protect them from COVID-19 and other diseases.

Since the conflict intensified in 2021, Ma’rib, once a safe haven for people who had to flee their homes, is becoming less safe. People are moving within the region, which is already home to the highest number of displaced people in Yemen, to find safety.

Father-of-five Ahmed was forced to leave his home after it was destroyed by heavy rain.

“We are still suffering,” Ahmed said. “We are four families in one tent due to rains and floods. If the weather is cloudy or windy, we feel anxious and worry for what is going to happen later.”

Like Ahmed, mother-of-three Eshraq’s first thought was how to save her children.

“Rain and floods came over and everything in my house was totally destroyed, everything has gone,” said Eshraq, who also has to care for her sick husband. “We are still suffering. There isn’t place for my children to sleep, they sleep in the yard outside the tent. We have no place to go to.”

We are suffering a lot. Our life is worse than any one can imagine, we just feel afraid and anxious.”


ShelterBox USA has added two Santa Barbara locals, John Glanville and Jeremy Jacobs, to its board of directors and staff.

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