May 25, 2017

War at Any Price: Domestic and Regional Economic Consequences of Yemen’s Civil War

Yemeni boys carry relief supplies to their families during a food distribution effort by Yemeni volunteers in Taiz, May 9, 2015. (AP Photo/Abdulnasser Alseddik)

The civil war in Yemen is now approaching its fourth year, and the rising cost of the conflict in its humanitarian disaster and continued investments by the warring parties in military expenditures suggest that cost is not a deterrent or impediment to war. While the immediate costs to the Yemeni people have been clear, the future cost to Gulf neighbors, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in particular, may be more than these states have estimated.

Considering social science research on civil wars, this paper evaluates the economic consequences of the conflict in Yemen, for the country itself, as well as for the Gulf region. Further, it offers suggestions on how the Gulf Cooperation Council states can learn from past conflicts and theory in their approach to reconstruction efforts to avoid the conflict trap and violence cycle.