Yemen Children's Crisis

Yemen is facing war, cholera, a food crisis and Covid-19 - all at the same time. Please donate now and help children survive.


About this appeal

Yemen has a healthcare system on the brink of collapse. Relentless war has devastated essential infrastructure and left only half of all health facilities in Yemen functional. Meanwhile families battle with a soaring food crisis, deadly outbreaks of cholera and the increasing spread of Covid-19.

Almost every Yemeni child – a staggering 12 million, is in need of humanitarian aid. If we don’t help Yemen’s children survive, then who will?

Please donate now and help save lives.

Yemen | ©Unicef/UNI313433
Yemen | ©Unicef/UNI313433

Baby Saleh is receiving around the clock treatment for severe acute malnutrition at a UNICEF-supported hospital in Aden, Yemen.

80% of Yemen's population are in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

And right now, hunger and malnutrition is at an all-time high. 2 million children are acutely malnourished and over 368,000 children under 5 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition and urgently need life-saving food to survive.

UNICEF is doing everything we can to ensure Yemen's children survive. But we desperately need your help.

Please donate now and help save Yemen's children.


How will you help

Every donation made to UNICEF’s Yemen Emergency Appeal is a lifeline for Yemeni children.

UNICEF are on the ground across the country, doing everything we can to save the lives of children and minimise the impact of the Yemen war, food crisis and disease outbreaks. We are also providing vital child protection services and helping children learn and overcome trauma, so that they can continue reaching for a brighter future.

Your donations are needed for UNICEF to provide the following support to Yemen’s children (across 2020):


  • Provide treatment for 331,000 children (aged 6 to 59 months) affected by severe acute malnutrition in Yemen.

  • Support 4,400,000 malnourished children essential micronutrient interventions, including vitamin A.


  • Vaccinate 5,500,000 Yemeni children under 5 years against polio.

  • Vaccinate 700,000 Yemeni children under 1 year against measles.

  • Ensure 1,700,000 Yemeni children under 5 years can access primary healthcare in UNICEF-supported facilities.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  • Ensure 6,800,000 people in Yemen can access safe clean water - protecting them from potentially deadly waterborne diseases such as cholera.

  • Provide 5,000,000 people with hygiene kits.

Child Protection

  • Reach 2,000,000 children and community members in Yemen with life-saving mine risk education.

  • Provide 874,000 Yemeni children and caregivers with mental health and psychosocial support.

  • Ensure 200,000 children and woman are protected with gender-based violence response interventions.


  • Continue supporting 1,000,000 Yemeni children with individual learning materials.

  • Ensure 820,000 children can access formal and non-formal schooling, including early learning.

  • Help fund 135,000 teachers (many of whom had stopped being formally paid) each month.

Covid-19 Response

  • Provide PPE items and operations support to 25,000 frontline workers, including health staff.

  • Provide safe water and sanitation services for 900,000 people in isolation centres and quarantine facilities.

  • Procure urgently needed oxygen concentrators and ventilators.

The need is great, but UNICEF will never give up on children. Please stand with us and help save lives.

Donate now to UNICEF’s Yemen Emergency Appeal and rush vital supplies to where they’re needed most.

Update (8)

Appeal updates

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

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