Yemen

Yemen

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The Republic of Yemen is located in the Middle East on the Arabian Peninsula. The country shares borders with Saudi Arabia and Oman and has coastline on the Arabian Sea, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden. The population is about 26 million people. The government is a republic with a president as chief of state and a prime minister as head of government.

Present day Yemen has been the site of trade empires for thousands of years. In the 900s BCE, Yemen was part of the Kingdom of Sheba. The Ottoman Empire conquered northwestern Yemen in the early 16th century dividing the country into two parts. The current Republic of Yemen was established in 1990 when the Former Yemen Arab Republic and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen merged. The basis of Yemen’s laws and customs is centred on Islamic beliefs and practices. Yemen is among the poorest countries in the Middle East. Political upheaval and violent protests have occurred due to the economic problems, high unemployment, and a failed government.

Among Yemen’s attractions are four UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Old Walled City of Shibam in Wadi Hadhramaut, the Old City of Sana'a, the town of Zabid which was the capital of Yemen from the 13th to 15th centuries, and the Socotra Archipelago.

At the time of writing, the security situation in Yemen is unstable and unpredictable for travel.

Currency YER: Yemeni rial
Language Arabic
Capital Sana'a
Recent Alerts 6
Latest Alert June 14, 2017 - Major increase in cholera epidemic in Yemen - update

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Yemen. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Yemen through contaminated food or water.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Yemen.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Yemen, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in the Yemen. Travellers involved in outdoor activities may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever. The U.S. CDC and the WHO states that all persons 1 year of age and older must have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission. However, NaTHNac states that a certificate is not required.

Cholera

Cholera outbreaks occur in Yemen. The risk to travellers is low unless living or working in poor sanitary conditions, drinking untreated water or visiting remote areas.

Malaria

There is a risk of malaria throughout the country above 2,000 meters, mainly from September through February. There is no risk in Sana'a. There is a very limited risk on the island of Socotra.

Dengue Fever

Outbreaks of dengue fever may occur.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis occurs in Yemen. Travellers to Yemen are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting sick friends or family, working in the health care field, or having close prolonged contact with the general population.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in Yemen and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Yemen.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever. The U.S. CDC and the WHO states that all persons 1 year of age and older must have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if arriving from a country where there is a risk of yellow fever transmission. However, NaTHNac states that a certificate is not required.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities and who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Yemen.

Anti-malarial Drugs

For anti-malaria medication, the World Health Organization and the US CDC recommends atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine. Drug resistance to chloroquine is present.

Safety and Security in Yemen

Emergency Numbers

199

Operators do not speak English. Emergency response may be limited, and police are largely unaccountable.

Personal Safety

The threat to security and personal safety in Yemen is extremely high due to economic conditions, civil unrest and active terrorist groups, including al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The AQAP has claimed responsibility for many attacks in Yemen. The threat of kidnapping and terrorist attack is extremely high. Westerners and places frequented by Westerners are actively targeted. The government of Yemen has limited control over parts of the country. Police do not always adhere to any sort of legal framework and may act unconventionally. For example, police may detain people without cause based on requests from tribes or influential families.

If travelling to Yemen, security arrangements are extremely important. Travellers may need to hire personal security escorts to ensure their safety.

Traveloutside Sana’a requires a permit that could take up to 24 hours to receive. Without this permit, a traveller could be detained or deported.

There is a high risk of carjacking. Due to the high risk of kidnapping, particularly of foreigners, do not use the Aden-Taiz-Sana'a highway. Routes in and out of cities can be blocked with little or no notice.

Weapons are easily available, and tribes and other groups can be heavily armed.

Although less of a problem in Yemen, petty crime does occur. Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport.

Women have been verbally and physically harassed in this country and should exercise caution. Always wear a head covering, avoid eye contact with men, and cover arms and legs. Unaccompanied women can be targeted.

Extreme Violence

Extreme violence is common in Yemen. The security situation is unstable and unpredictable. There is a high threat of terrorist attack and kidnapping. Westerners are targeted.

Political Unrest

Civil unrest and armed conflict occur frequently in Yemen, and the overall situation remains volatile.

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