The full scale war which has engulfed Yemen for the last eighteen months has led to a disastrous humanitarian situation. More than 21million out of 26 million Yemenis need basic assistance and 2.8 million are displaced. The World Food Programme has only reached fifty percent of the 7.6million people on the verge of starvation. Yemen has become the battleground for the regional and geopolitical rivalries which are consuming the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, supported by the US and UK governments, one of the key participants in the conflict.
Helen Lackner is the leading authority on the Yemen. She has worked in all parts of the Yemen since the 1970s and has lived there for close to 15 years. She has written about the country’s political economy as well as social and economic issues. She edited Why Yemen Matters (Saqi books 2014) and is currently working on a book about the current situation and its origins to be published by Saqi in 2017. She will look at the background to the conflict, the prospects for peace in the light of the talks in Kuwait and the impact of the conflict in Yemen on the wider politics of the Middle East.