U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Please provide an overview of corruption and anti-corruption in Yemen.


Yemen's ongoing conflict has transformed into an economic battle, with various factions fighting over crucial resources, such as aid flows and control over state resources. The war economy has intensified existing corruption challenges and created avenues for illicit wealth accumulation for new powerbrokers and previously less powerful networks. However, this takeover of the state has not fundamentally changed the nature of the systematic corruption that has plagued Yemen long before 2014.

Main points

  • Conflict and corruption in Yemen have reinforced each other.
  • The war economy has led to a more fragmented economic landscape and the expansion of opportunities for gatekeepers to extract wealth through corrupt means and in the illicit economy. In other areas it has fueled pre-existing corruption challenges.
  • While the armed conflict in Yemen may have disrupted some corrupt networks, it should not be assumed that it has fundamentally changed the preexisting nature of state capture and corruption in the country.
  • While the legal framework has some key strengths, there is no evidence that the regulatory system has the capacity to adequately hold actors accountable for acts of corruption.


  1. Background

    1. Yemen’s war economy
  2. Extent of corruption
  3. Drivers of corruption
    1. State capture
    2. Conflict
    3. Illicit trade
  4. Sectors affected by corruption
    1. Health
    2. Water
    3. Security sector and armed forces
    4. Aid
    5. Oil and Gas
    6. Electricity
  5. Legal and institutional anti-corruption framework
  6. Other stakeholders
    1. Civil society
    2. Media


Mathias Bak (TI, [email protected]


Robert Forster (U4)

Caitlin Maslen and Matthew Jenkins (TI)

Taher M. AL-Hatef




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