As Fighting Nears, Yemen’s Displaced Flock to Maarib Camps

Aid groups warn needs are far beyond means for the camps

Nearly a year of fighting has combatants on the outskirts of Maarib. Fighting has focused on this being an “oil-rich” city, but the sheer number of refugees flocked to the area is its more defining characteristic.

Those camps are going to be a big burden for the eventual winner of the battle, as the aid groups warn that the large population’s needs far outstrip their ability to provide for them.

That’s a problem in much of Yemen, as in peacetime the nation has to import most of its food. During this war, the Saudis blockades have made importation difficult, and food rarely is anything but scarce throughout the war.

Maarib is the worst for that, with millions of refugees camped outside the city, displaced from months of fighting. The expectation is that whoever takes the city will be responsible for the camps, but with the blockade ongoing, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to get enough food for them.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of