Yemen Children's Crisis
About this appeal
Right now, 4 out of every 5 children in Yemen need humanitarian assistance to survive. That’s more than 11 million children.
After more than 6 years of brutal ongoing conflict, the nightmare situation for children and families continues. A staggering 71% of the population (more than 20 million people) need urgent aid, including clean water, medical supplies, food, and sanitation.
UNICEF is working tirelessly on the ground, but we urgently need more help.
Please donate today, to make a difference in lives of children who need it most.
"So please — help us deliver that hope by committing to the Yemeni people. Let’s pull a country, and a weary population, back from the brink." - Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director
As with any conflict, children are worst affected.
Parents are struggling to put food on the table, children are going without clean water and lifesaving vaccines, and families are missing out on the most basic health care.
UNICEF's latest report show that 2 million children have been displaced from their homes, and almost 2.3 million children under 5 are threatened by acute malnutrition. With 400,000 children facing severe acute malnutrition*.
Homes and schools have been destroyed. More than 20 million people need access to clean water. And the Yemen health system is on the brink of collapse.
Children need our help now.
UNICEF is on the ground in Yemen working around the clock to reach some of 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 to keep children in Yemen safe and healthy.
We must act now to protect children in Yemen. Just $42 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.
Yemen Crisis Snapshot+:
Appeal information updated 12th November 2021.
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.
How will you help
Your support can be a lifesaver for Yemeni children.
Donations received for our Yemen Emergency Appeal will help provide 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 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.
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.
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