Yemen Children's Crisis

We cannot forget about children in Yemen. The ongoing conflict makes every day a struggle to survive.


There is no worse place to be a child right now, than in Yemen.

Since the conflict in Yemen escalated more than 8 years ago, children have been experiencing ongoing violence, displacement and poverty. Which is why we are staying to deliver for vulnerable kids.

Almost 13 million children need humanitarian assistance to survive. We've reached many children with clean water, medical supplies, life-saving therapeutic food, sanitation and education. However, there are still many children we haven't yet reached. Which is why we need your help.

Please donate now. Your support today could be a life-line for a child in Yemen.

What is the situation in Yemen?

Right now, Yemen continues to be one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. An ongoing armed conflict, coupled with widespread economic collapse, and an over-stretched health system where less than half of health facilities are functioning - have left four out of five children needing urgent help.

Young people are the worst impacted, with millions of children in need of help.

By late 2022, 9.2 million children, lacked access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services. Children throughout the country continue to experience regular outbreaks of cholera, measles, diphtheria and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

Around 2.2 million children are experiencing some form of malnutrition, while more than 2 million children are out of school. And an estimated 4.5 million people have been internally displaced.

Yemen Crisis snapshot
Yemen Crisis snapshot

“When I noticed that Arwa (9-months) was very weak and her condition was unstable, I took her to the health centre. The doctors examined her and gave her the necessary medicines and nutrition to treat malnutrition" says Arwa's mother. "Now, I visit the health centre weekly, and Arwa’s health condition is improving.”

What is UNICEF doing in Yemen?

UNICEF is working round the clock to help children cope with the impact of conflict, and to help them to recover and resume their childhoods. But we urgently need more help.

Thanks to generous donations we've provided the following urgently needed supplies and services:

  • Safe drinking water to 8.9 million people - including 5.3 million children.

  • Reached 4 million kids under 5 with vitamin A supplements.

  • Reached almost 500,000 vulnerable displaced people with kits including food and hygiene items.

  • Reached more than 5.3 million people with gender-based violence interventions.

  • Vaccinated more than 817,000 children under 1 year against deadly measles.

  • Helped more than 560,000 children access formal or non-formal education


New Temporary Learning spaces TLSs that were constructed by UNICEF in AlSomaya IDP camp in Marib governorate, Yemen.

How can you help the children of Yemen?

You can help us provide essential life-saving supplies for children, by making a donation today. We simply don’t have enough funds to reach every child in who needs us, so your support is critical.

Your donation will help to ensure that malnourished children get treatment, displaced children do not miss out on an education, children suffering stress and trauma get psychological care, and families are able to access safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene facilities.

Please donate today, to make a difference in the lives of children in Yemen.

You can donate over the phone on 0800 243 575.

You can donate direct to our bank account 01-0505-0463764-00 using code YEM-WS

Appeal information updated: 21st March 2023.

Your life-saving monthly donations will support this appeal for 6 months. After that they will go into our Global Parent fund to save and protect children worldwide.


Your support can be a lifesaver for Yemeni children.

Donations received for our Yemen Emergency Appeal will help provide essential items for children most in need.

UNICEF is on the ground across Yemen, doing everything we can to save the lives of children and minimise the impact of the conflict and the humanitarian crisis.

While time isn't on their side, your support can come at just the right time for Yemeni children in 2023.

This is the sort of incredible impact you'll be having:

  • Screening and providing lifesaving treatment for malnourished children

  • Vaccinating children against deadly diseases such as polio and measles

  • Providing safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene

  • Fixing and reestablishing crumbling water and sanitation infrastructure

  • Repairing damaged schools and providing temporary classrooms and learning spaces

  • Supporting teachers who haven't received their government salaries since 2016

  • Helping distribute soap and other personal hygiene supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19, cholera and other infectious diseases

  • Helping make sure children can receive essential primary healthcare

  • Providing learning materials and supporting formal and informal education

  • Providing psychosocial and mental health services to children exposed to violence and trauma

  • Continuing a successful cash transfer program that's already helped thousands of impoverished families

The need is great, but UNICEF will never give up on children. Please donate today to help save lives.

Update (9)

UNICEF's unique support provides clean water to kids in Yemen

Published on Thu Nov 17 2022

Taizz city suffers from water shortages because of the ongoing conflict. But with thanks to our partner, Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF), UNICEF has been able to provide a daily supply of fresh water to 2.5 million children and families.

While the worker Jubran Al Jabri, 41 years old, is filling the pumping generator with the fuel provided by UNICEF.

"We used to struggle to fetch 20 litres of water" says Fatiah Mohammed.

"We used to quarrel with people while the water was being filled, and we'd return home and our mood would turn sour" she says "We would reach the house, and we no longer wanted it because we were exhausted"

"The water I would bring for my 7 children was not enough, so I would have to bring more"

Fathiah Mohammad, 40 years old, lives in Al Mudhaffar district – Al Nusayria Al Wasta area, and she has seven children, while she is cleaning the dishes.

Now water is delivered from wells to the main public network, and then pumped to neighbourhoods in the city. This water is pumped with help from UNICEF.

Between October and November 2021, UNICEF covered more than 98% of the cost of diesel used to pump the water into homes. And we continue to support getting safe, clean water to kids and families in Yemen.

"There was not enough water for us, but now water is available, pumped to our houses and water tanks" says Fatiah, grateful that she now has enough water for her family.

It's thanks to donor support that the basic needs, including water, of children in Yemen can be met.

Watch the video of water being provided to families in Yemen.

PHOTO ESSAY: UNICEF rolls out Measles campaign across Yemen.

Published on Thu Jun 09 2022

With Support from UNICEF, this month the Ministry of Public Health in Yemen launched an emergency measles and rubella vaccination campaign.

Measles cases worldwide, increased 79% in the first two months of this year, compared with 2021.

During the last 12 months, Yemen had the second highest number of measles cases of any country with 3,629. Insufficient vaccine coverage is the primary reason for this.

Measles is a highly contagious, yet vaccine preventable disease. It can be deadly, with the deaths of 15 children in Yemen associated with mealses in March 2022 alone.

The current measles campaign in Yemen aims to vaccinate around 1.35 million children (aged 6m-10y).

UNICEF is supporting vaccine delivery across 10 provinces in Yemen.

Worldwide, UNICEF supplies vaccines to reach 45 per cent of the world’s children under five.

Our vaccines programmes operate in over 100 countries. we work with governments, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, and other UN agencies to engage communities, procure and distribute vaccines, keep supplies safe and effective, and help ensure affordable access for even the hardest-to-reach families.

Vaccines are the safest and most cost effective way to protect children from life-threatening preventable diseases.

"Yemen has become a living hell for children."

Published on Wed Apr 13 2022

While public attention on Yemen waxes and wanes amid other global crises, the brutal war continues unabated.

Yemen has become a living hell for children. Millions of parents don’t know if their children will survive from one day to the next.

More than 10,200 children have been killed or injured.

Ongoing violence, mines and explosive remnants of war are a constant threat.

Some 2.2 million children under five are acutely malnourished. More than half a million suffer from severe acute malnutrition, a life-threatening condition.

Nearly 8.5 million children do not have access to safe water, sanitation, or hygiene, exacerbating the risk of water-borne diseases and further malnutrition.

More than 10 million children and almost 5 million women cannot properly access health services or receive medical attention.

More than 2 million children are not in school. Another 4 million are at risk of dropping out, especially girls. Teachers have not been paid their salaries for more than four years.

In Yemen today, 4 out of 5 children are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. With no political solution in sight, these needs will also continue unabated.

UNICEF and our partners are working across Yemen every day to reach these children and their families.

We have provided safe drinking water to 8.8 million people -- including 5.3 million children.

We are helping more than 2 million people in remote rural areas to access public health care centers -- and we are providing vaccination to at least 4 million children.

We are providing emergency cash transfers to almost 1.4 million families every quarter, a lifeline for 9 million people to buy get supplies and services.

And we are helping more than a half million children access formal and non-formal education, including early learning.

Aseel, almost 3 years old now, has been malnourished since he was two months old. He underwent treatment for severe acute malnutrition at the therapeutic feeding center of Al-Sabeen Hospital, Sana’a, Yemen. He is now slowly recovering at his family home

UNICEF and our partners will continue to deliver for Yemen’s children. But we are running out of funds.

UNICEF urgently needs approximately $240 million to support our work over the next six months.

Without this funding, we simply cannot deliver at scale.

Without this funding, more children will lose their education. More children will go hungry. More children will fall sick. And more children will die.

Without this funding, we risk a complete collapse of services that would escalate a crisis into a catastrophe for Yemen’s children.

Ladies and gentlemen, the world must not give up on Yemen and its children.

UNICEF renews our call to all parties to the conflict to keep children safe at all times and to refrain from attacks on populated areas and vital civilian infrastructure.

We renew our call for sustained, unconditional, and uninterrupted humanitarian access.

We renew our call to keep ports and airports open to facilitate critical deliveries of lifesaving supplies.

Most of all, for every child in Yemen, UNICEF renews the most urgent call of all: the call for peace.

In closing, I want to share the words of Sawsan, a 10-year-old Yemeni girl: “I believe in peace and hope that one day it will prevail in my country. We live in a war and no child is safe. I wish that one day the whole world will be filled with peace.”

The world must answer her call. Now. Before it is too late.

UNICEF Executive Director, Catherine Russell

Sawsan (10), Yemen.

Polio vaccines arrive for children in Yemen

Published on Tue Feb 08 2022

It's estimated that a child in Yemen dies every 10 minutes from vaccine-preventable diseases. This is despite vaccination being among the safest and most cost-effective health interventions to protect children from diseases such as polio.

In its efforts to keep Yemen polio-free, UNICEF, alongside our partners, is vaccinating children against this deadly and debilitating disease.

Latest shipments of the vaccine have arrived in recent weeks and months - to help us protect the children who need it most.

2 million polio vaccines arrive in Yemen, and await cold storage. The vaccines will be used for routine immunisation to vaccinate around 300,000 children under 1 year old.

A fork lift transferring boxes containing 2.9 million doses of Polio vaccines into the cool store. They will be used in the first Polio vaccination campaign targeting 10.5 million Yemeni children under the age of 10.

Storekeepers organizing the vaccines on the shelves in preparation for the polio campaign.

Abdulmalik Ahmed, 4 months old, with his mother and a health worker, is being vaccinated in Al Theebah health center, in Yemen.

Malnutrition: a constant threat for children in Yemen

Published on Fri Nov 12 2021


Health worker Abdulrahman Moamen of Hajjah, Yemen, with his four-year-old daughter Rowaida, who has fallen ill to malnutrition twice since 2018.

30-year-old Abdulrahman Moamen works at a health center in northwestern Yemen. He goes out every morning to work at the center and provide health services to children.

Mothers and their children come to this center to receive health services, including therapeutic treatment for malnutrition and immunisations.


Most children who come to the health center suffer from diseases such as respiratory infections, diarrhoea, malaria, or malnutrition ranging from moderate to severe.

Malnutrition in the family

Abdulrahman lives with his wife and four children, in a house located in an area surrounded by pollution caused by a lack of adequate sanitation. The sewage of the whole area collects at a spot nearby his house. This environment can cause malaria and diarrhea, both of which can lead to malnutrition among children.


When she was just over one year old, Rowaida, Abdulrahman’s youngest child, was infected with malaria. Abdulrahman noticed that his daughter was getting thinner, so he took her to the health center. She was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition as her weight and height were nearly 30% less than normal.

“I felt really bad when my daughter was diagnosed with malnutrition. I thought that because I was a doctor, I could treat her myself”, Abdulrahman says.

“However, this is not the case for [the majority of] malnourished children in Yemen,” he adds, aware that his family somehow is more fortunate than most.

For four months, Rowaida was fed with ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to help her gain weight and grow well. At the end of the treatment, she had gained 1.5 kilograms and was discharged from the programme.

In response to the child malnutrition crisis in Yemen, UNICEF supports primary healthcare centers, such as the health center in Sharas, where Abdulrahman works. This health center is one of more than 4,400 UNICEF-supported health facilities providing outpatient therapeutic treatment programmes (OTP).

In addition, UNICEF supports 134 therapeutic feeding centers (TFCs) to provide lifesaving treatment for children with severe acute malnutrition and other complications.

For more than two years, Rowaida was healthy, until she caught diarrhea in June 2021, one month after her fourth birthday.


“When we rushed to the health center and took measurements of her body, weight and height, we found out that she was malnourished again,” says Abdulrahman.

Rowaida was taken to the health center in Sharas and received treatment and medication. Then she was moved to a hospital in the city centre of Hajjah to receive specialized care.

When she was discharged from the hospital, she was taken back to her village, where she was admitted to the UNICEF-supported outpatient therapeutic programme (OTP) for observation and follow-up.

Her body measurements showed that she had severe acute malnutrition as a result of the weight loss caused by diarrhea. She was admitted to the OTP where she was given RUTF to gain weight. She gained 700 grams over the last two months since her admission in the therapeutic programme.

Today, her condition has improved, and she is being treated for moderate acute malnutrition. She still needs to gain 3 kilograms to be in within the normal measures for a baby girl of her age.


Abdulrahman has great dreams for Rowaida:

“I wish my daughter Rowaida could become a doctor in the future to help other children in Yemen stay healthy,” he says.

Like Rowaida, children in Yemen are vulnerable to malnutrition due to various reasons exacerbated by the conflict. Currently, 2.3 million children in Yemen are suffering from acute malnutrition, including 400,000 children who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and are in urgent need of life-saving support.

Yemen’s Hidden Emergency: An Education System in Crisis

Published on Tue Jul 27 2021


Maraseel Alsaqaf worries for all school children in her country.

At 19 years old, she’s in her final year at Taibah Girls School in Taizz, Yemen. But she worries for all the children coming through behind her.

“With each semester that passes, our education continues to deteriorate due to the disasters afflicting our country – starting with the war and ending with COVID-19. Beyond the shortage of teachers, educational curricula no longer meet the high quality we need to continue advancing and growing.” she says.

Yemen is in the midst of an ongoing civil war, further complicated during the past 18 months by the global Covid-19 pandemic – which has claimed the lives of one quarter of Yemenis who have contracted it.

Both of these emergencies are well documented.

What is less well known, is the extent of the education and learning emergency which is paralleling it. It is one that threatens to leave long-lasting impacts on children’s safety and well-being. As of 16 March 2020, all schools, universities and learning institutes were closed nationwide. This prevented 5.8 million students (including 2.5 million girls) from completing their school year.

“I am saddened and disheartened that schools have been closed due to the pandemic.” Says 33-year-old Mona Almatari from Wadi Hala village.

“My happiest moment was when I completed my Intermediate Diploma Certificate and started teaching students in my region.”


Years of conflict in Yemen have brought about numerous psychological symptoms experienced by kids. Anxiousness, fear, anger, sadness, restlessness, regression, and accompanying sleeplessness, nightmares, and hyperactivity, are affecting children. And these are further compounded by Covid-19.

With the enforced closure of schools and educational institutions, comes the loss of routine, peer support, and social interactions that are necessary for learning, psychological and professional development, and mental well-being.


Fatimah Shaker is 16.

“This past year was the worst for me and, I believe, for my entire community.” she says.

Her school in Sana’a was disrupted by the pandemic. And when her, and her classmates returned to school after being locked out, it was difficult to sit their final exams.

“Because we were unable to complete our curriculum, the tests were very difficult.”

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, distance and e-learning platforms were not widely used in Yemen. Students, teachers, and governing bodies need to be supported. There is an opportunity to build upon the Ministry of Education’s auxiliary programs that are broadcasted throughout educational channels, local channels (TV and radio), and that can also be disseminated via audio, visual, print, online, and social media.

UNICEF has been supporting children and families in Yemen throughout the conflict. And since September 2020, UNICEF has been specifically supporting children’s home-based and distance learning strategies, by working alongside and supporting the Ministry of Education.

This includes producing and broadcasting basic education lessons on TV and radio. Developing mobile learning apps and electronic lessons. And more broadly, the partnership aims to strengthen the capacity of teachers and administrators to foster a safe learning environment for when students return to the classroom.

Outcomes Educational authorities in Yemen’s capital Sana’a, were able to facilitate national exams for students in grades 9 and 12. This included 427,650 students who completed the exams, with 356,959 (83%) of children receiving passing grades. A fantastic outcome given the conditions and strain students have been under.


Going forward, the partnership between UNICEF and the Ministry of Education aims to increase access to education for crisis-affected girls and boys in Yemen. This includes remote learning opportunities, and making sure children have equitable access to formal, non-formal and alternative learning environments, which are safe and child friendly.

Every young life saved means so much

Published on Tue Apr 06 2021

From day one, little Nour was in a battle for survival.

"When Nour was born, she was weak and wasted, and her health kept worsening from day to day." - Souad, Nour's mum

Born into poverty in one of the poorest parts of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. She lives with her family in a one room home with no running water or electricity. And every day is a struggle for the family to get enough to eat.

"We rarely have three meals a day," says Souad, "I breastfeed my baby, but she is never satisfied as I don't have enough milk,"

Nour was not getting enough nourishment at home, and was getting sick and struggling to put on weight.

Nour's health was failing and the situation had become urgent.

But Souad didn’t know where to take her child for help. They couldn't afford healthcare and she didn't know how or where to get free treatment. Nour was very close to not receiving the help she needed to fight off malnutrition, which would have almost certainly had deadly consequences.

Thankfully UNICEF visited the family's home during a routine assessment and discovered that Nour was in urgent need of care.

“I visited the home of the baby girl, Nour," says UNICEF worker Ali Al-Raymi, who was the first to visit Nour’s family at home.

"Nour was weak and her body was wasted” she said.

Nour was 9-months old and weighed just five kilograms - the average weight of a baby aged two or three months. She needed immediate care, and was sent to the UNICEF-supported Maeen Medical Complex for urgent treatment.

Nour received lifesaving supplementary nutrition, treatment for coexisting infections and a thorough checkup.

After four months of treatment, Nour is gaining weight and has already put on well over 1Kg and has even taken her first steps. But most importantly, her doctors are confident that she is no longer at risk of literally starving to death.

Thanks to UNICEF and caring donors, we were able to catch Nour just in the nick of time.

But with the clock ticking for other malnourished children in Yemen, we need to act now. Time isn't on their side, but you can be.

UNICEF NZ's hearts go out to the whanau of 11 children killed in Yemen in the past three days.

Published on Tue Dec 01 2020

Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative to Yemen explains:

“11 children were reportedly killed in the past three days in Yemen in two separate attacks. Verification is still ongoing, and the actual number of casualties may be higher. The attacks took place in the village of Ad Durayhimi in Al Hudaydah governorate and in Tai’z in the south west, where there are active frontlines.

“According to reports, a one-month old baby was among those killed. Three other children have reportedly been injured.

“The killing of children is appalling. Children should be protected at all times. We call on all parties to the conflict to spare children and keep them out of harm’s way. Attacks on civilians including children and attacks on civilian populated areas violate international humanitarian law.”

UNICEF continues to be on the ground in Yemen, providing life-saving support to children and families in need. We will never give up on protecting children.

We call on all parties to end the conflict immediately and ensure all children are protected.

UNICEF airlifts urgently needed COVID-19 testing kits to Yemen, as new cases of infection continue to soar.

Published on Thu Jun 18 2020

10,000 COVID-19 testing kits arrived via a UNICEF-chartered plane in Sana’a, Yemen on 18th June 2020. These supplies are essential to strengthen Yemen’s COVID-19 response, amid soaring infections across the country. A further 8,000 COVID-19 tests are in UNICEF’s delivery pipeline and are expected to arrive in Aden within days.

“These test kits will allow wider testing for COVID-19 across the country and the timely management of confirmed cases to save lives,” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “UNICEF continues to bring critical supplies to Yemen to support the response efforts and protect children and their communities against the pandemic.”

Since the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Yemen on 10th April 2020, donations from supporters have enabled UNICEF to provide over 33,000 N95 respirators, 33,000 face shields, and 18,000 gowns to the country. These vital supplies will protect 400 frontline Yemeni health workers for three months. Yet this only represents 5% of the COVID-19 supplies that UNICEF requires in Yemen.

COVID-19 has compounded the already deadly challenges children and families in Yemen already face. Children are at greater risk because of general low immunity, caused by huge levels of malnutrition, a lack of access to basic services such as immunisation and a healthcare system which is already on the verge of collapse.

As of today, UNICEF’s COVID-19 response in Yemen remains severely underfunded. UNICEF NZ is urgently appealing for donations to help protect children.

UNICEF’s immediate COVID-19 response goals in Yemen are to:
  • Provide PPE items, operations, and sensitization support to 30,000 frontline health workers.
  • Establish and conduct safe screening of patients for continuity of services in 4,000 health facilities.
  • Provide safe water and sanitation services for 900,000 people in isolation centres and quarantine facilities.
  • Improve capacity for oxygen therapy by procuring much-needed oxygen concentrators.
Please donate now to UNICEF NZ's Yemen appeal and help children survive.

Your support will give children

  • Life-saving medicines

    Life-saving medicines

  • Life-saving Immunisation

    Life-saving Immunisation

  • Clean water

    Clean water

  • Nutritious food

    Nutritious food

As a monthly supporter, you’ll receive

  • News & Updates

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  • Annual Tax Receipt

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Other ways to donate

You can also donate to this appeal via direct bank transfer or over the phone.

Donate Via BankCall 0800 243 575