Yemen Children's Crisis

Time is running out for Nour and more than 12 million children caught in the world's largest humanitarian crisis.


About this appeal

A devastating conflict, coupled with a global pandemic has left 80% of people in Yemen in need of humanitarian assistance to survive.

Children are worst affected, with many not having access to clean water, food, medical and hygiene supplies. They need our help now.

Since March 2015, when the fighting in Yemen escalated, children have suffered through 6 years of crisis. Their homes and schools have been destroyed. Only one in three children has access to clean water. 2.3 million children are spiralling towards malnutrition this year, and the Yemen health system is on the brink of collapse.

Time isn't on their side, but you can be. Donate now.

UNICEF is on the ground in Yemen working round the clock to reach the most disadvantaged and isolated children every day. And it's only thanks to generous donations that we can provide clean drinking water, lifesaving vaccines, therapeutic food, medicines and more.

But children can't wait. They need food now, they need vaccines now, they need clean water now.

They need you now.

Please donate and help save lives in Yemen.

The alarm is ringing. The escalating emergency means time is running out for the children of Yemen.​ 

We must act now to protect children in Yemen. Just $44 could provide enough life-saving food for a child for 2 weeks.

UNICEF is doing everything we can to ensure the survival of Yemen's children, but we urgently need more help. Time is not on their side. But you can be.

Please donate now and help save Yemen's children.

Yemen Crisis snapshot
Yemen Crisis snapshot


How will you help

Your support can be a lifesaver for Yemeni children.

Each donation received for our Yemen Emergency Appeal will provide the most essential items for the 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, the humanitarian crisis and Covid-19.

While time isn't on their side, your support can come at just the right time for Yemeni children in 2021.

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/or 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)

Appeal updates

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. 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, 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.

UNICEF delivers critical supplies to support Yemen’s COVID-19 response.

Published on Wed Jun 03 2020

Cases of Covid-19 are on the rise in Yemen, a country whose health system was already on the brink of collapse before the pandemic. To help stop the spread of infection and save lives, UNICEF delivered urgently needed medical supplies to Sana’a airport on the 30th May 2020.

Donations from UNICEF supporters enabled us to airlift enough face masks, gloves, aprons and other essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for at least 1,600 frontline health workers.

These life-saving supplies will ensure vital primary health care and nutrition services can operate safely for three months.

Covid-19 has created an emergency within an emergency in Yemen. Due to a bloody and relentless war, only half of all health facilities across the country are functional.

Meanwhile almost every child in Yemen (over 12 million in total) is in need of humanitarian aid, including nearly half a million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Covid-19 is not only a direct threat to the health of Yemen’s children, many of whom have weakened immune systems due to malnutrition – but Covid-19’s weakening of vital aid services which Yemen’s children rely on to survive.

UNICEF is one of the few organisation still able to provide life-saving aid to Yemen’s children, but the growing need is immense.

“Despite the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, UNICEF is staying and delivering to reach children and families in need across the country. A robust and sustainable supply chain will allow us to continue doing our share.” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

UNICEF plans to deliver more life-saving supplies, including Covid-19 testing kits in the coming weeks. However resources are stretched and we need your help.

Please donate now to UNICEF NZ and help provide urgently needed soap, clean water and medical supplies.

Over 5 million children in Yemen face the threat of cholera in the midst of Covid-19 and heavy rains

Published on Wed Apr 29 2020

Children in Yemen continue to face a myriad of threats to their survival. A further spread of cholera, high levels of malnutrition and outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases, compounded by COVID-19 will only exacerbate the burden that children and their families already face,” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.

More than 110,000 cases of suspected cholera – a deadly waterborne disease, have been recorded across Yemen since January. Children under the age of five account for a quarter of these cases.

Recent heavy rains and flash floods in Abyan, Lahj and Sana’a City have interrupted access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities, as well as destroyed homes and displaced families. Many families have been left vulnerable to disease, with little access to soap, clean water or any means to social distance.__This has not only created a breeding ground for deadly waterborne diseases, but it has greatly worsened the country’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19. __

UNICEF has responded urgently to families affected by the floods by providing basic hygiene kits, including disinfectants, chlorine, buckets and towels. The response also focuses on the repair of the disrupted water infrastructure to restore immediate access to safe drinking water for children and their families.

Please donate now and help children survive.

Yemen's children under attack: 37 children among killed and injured in the attack in Al-Jawf

Published on Fri Feb 21 2020

UNICEF is sad to confirm that the recent attack in Al-Jawf, north of Yemen, on 15th February, took the lives of 19 children (eight boys and 11 girls) and injured another 18 (nine boys and another nine girls).

“We were hopeful that peace would be on the horizon in Yemen, but the worrying escalation of violence over the past few weeks is a harsh reminder that children in Yemen continue to carry the heaviest burden of the conflict.

“UNICEF reiterates its plea to all parties to the conflict to protect the lives of children by first and foremost putting an end to this brutal war. A sustained commitment to peace in Yemen is the only way that the global community can fully deliver on our commitment to protect the rights of every child in this country.

“The daily suffering of children in Yemen should not be forgotten or go unnoticed”.

UNICEF remains on the ground, providing children and families life-saving aid. Please donate now and help Yemen's children survive.

Fighting to keep children like Hassan alive

Published on Mon Dec 09 2019

More than four years of armed conflict have brought Yemen’s essential public services to the brink of collapse. The first to feel the effects are, invariably, the nation’s most vulnerable, including babies, who are growing up in an environment of toxic stress.

The nurses in the neonatal intensive care unit at Al Sabeen say that when there are attacks, they expect an influx of premature babies to their wards. They also know that as the economic crisis continues, access to food, fuel and medicines is becoming harder by the day.

The nurses themselves, along with other medical staff across the country, are going without salaries for a third year – yet despite this they continue to deliver health care.

The Al Sabeen Maternal Hospital is undoubtedly a lifeline amid a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Thousands of families come here for urgent care for their premature babies and malnourished children.

Dr. Suaad Al-hetari was part of the team that opened the nursery in 1993. She also facilitated the introduction of a kangaroo mother care programme in the ward, the first of its kind in Yemen. She now works for UNICEF, as part of a team working around the clock to keep Al Sabeen, and other health facilities across Yemen, from closing.

“The ongoing crisis is affecting the ability of hospitals to provide neonatal care. In spite of the situation Yemen is in, we have doctors and nurses fighting to keep these babies alive,” she says. “UNICEF keep the electricity running, we provide medicine, supplies and incentives for health workers. Undoubtedly the hospital would close if we weren’t here.”

As part of its ongoing humanitarian response, UNICEF is working with donors, partners and government representatives to keep these services running. We won't give up on any child.

Donate now and help keep Yemen's children safe.

Children in Yemen continue to be in desperate need

Published on Mon Dec 09 2019

Children sit in front of a house damaged by an air strike, inside the old city of Sana'a, Yemen, on 20 July 2019.

The fallout from the ongoing civil war in Yemen, which began in 2015, has led to the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with more than 24 million people — some 80 per cent of the population — in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children.

Children continue to be killed and maimed in the conflict. Around 360,000 children under 5 years old are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and require treatment, with cases of acute watery diarrhoea and suspected cholera soaring in early 2019.

The damage and closure of schools and hospitals has disrupted access to education and health services, leaving children even more vulnerable and robbing them of their futures.

UNICEF continue to be on the ground, providing kids with life-saving support, including: food, water, medicine and shelter.

Donate now and help Yemen's children survive.

Dirty water 20 times deadlier to children in conflict zones than bullets.

Published on Fri May 31 2019

UNICEF's Water Under Fire Report has highighted the lethal nature of unsafe water and sanitation for children in 2019.

Key points include:

  • Children under 5 are more than 20 times more likely to die from diseases linked to unsafe water than violence in conflict zones.
  • Attacks on water and sanitation are attacks on children. In the Syrian Arab Republic, for example, attacks on water networks cut services for weeks at a time, forcing children into desperate situations.

Read more of the report here.

Your support will give children

  • Life-saving medicines

  • Life-saving Immunisation

  • Clean water

  • Nutritious food

As a monthly supporter, you’ll receive

  • News & Updates

  • Annual Tax Receipt

Make a difference today

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Tax Credit

Individuals can claim a 33.33% tax credit for all donations over $5 they make to this appeal.

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