Yemen has long been a breeding ground for conflict. The poorest country in the Arab region has become a violent playground for internal, regional and international actors. Now nearing its sixth year, the war has led to what the United Nations (UN) has called a ‘countdown to catastrophe’. COVID-19 has further worsened the already fragile and decimated system which has been under an endless mushroom cloud of drone strikes and bomb blasts.
Conflict has rendered Yemen’s state system fragmented. At present, the country is largely split between two authorities: the internationally recognized government under President Mansoor Hadi controls the south, while Houthi rebels hold power over much of the northern part of the country (which includes the capital Sanaa). The power division is tainted by shifting frontlines and regional discrepancies between the Saudis and Emiratis.