2019 Photo Contest, General News, Stories, 1st Prize

Yemen Crisis


Lorenzo Tugnoli

Contrasto, for The Washington Post

20 May, 2018

Children sit at the entrance to a tent in a camp for internally displaced people in Meshqafah, near Aden, Yemen.

After nearly four years of conflict in Yemen, at least 8.4 million people are at risk of starvation and 22 million people—75% of the population—are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. In 2014, Houthi Shia Muslim rebels seized northern areas of the country, forcing the president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, into exile. The conflict spread, and escalated when Saudi Arabia, in coalition with eight other mostly Sunni Arab states, began air strikes against the Houthis. By 2018, the war had led to what the UN termed the world’s worst man-made humanitarian disaster. Saudi Arabia said that Iran—a Shia-majority state and their rival regional power—was backing the Houthis with weapons and supplies, a charge Iran denied. The Saudi-led coalition implemented a blockade on Yemen, imposing import restrictions on food, medicines and fuel. Resulting shortages exacerbated the humanitarian crisis. In many cases, conditions of near-famine were caused not so much by the unavailability of food, but because it became unaffordable, priced out of reach to most Yemenis by import restrictions, soaring transport costs due to fuel scarcity, a collapsing currency and other man-made supply disruptions. 

About the photographer

Lorenzo Tugnoli

Lorenzo Tugnoli, born in Lugo, Italy in 1979, is a self-taught photographer. Tugnoli worked extensively around the Middle East before moving to Afghanistan in 2010, where he s...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
35 mm

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