Right now, children in Yemen are facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Years of brutal conflict have pushed Yemen deep into crisis. An alarming 80% of the population are in need of help, including 12 million children. That’s almost every boy and girl in Yemen in desperate need of our help.
The conflict has left over 2 million children out of school, robbing them of their futures. Health systems are on the verge of collapse and the country is on the brink of famine. Less than half of health centers are functional and over 2.3 million children are suffering from acute malnutrition and need urgent treatment.
Yemen has become one the worst places on earth to be a child. Since the conflict began, an average of six children have been killed or maimed every day. No place in Yemen is safe for children.
Our teams are working tirelessly to provide Yemen’s children with critical service and supplies. We are leading the response to Nutrition and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. We are supporting children’s education and providing child protection services
This year, UNICEF’s response will focus on improving basic health care services for children, providing urgent treatment for malnutrition and ensuring children are vaccinated to protect them from preventable illness.
Disease outbreaks are common and spread rapidly in Yemen. We will our efforts on responding urgently to all outbreaks to limit their impact on children’s lives.
We will rebuild and rehabilitate schools, provide learning materials and support teacher training to ensure children can continue learning and don’t get left behind.
UNICEF is funded entirely through voluntary contributions, and we can only do it with your support.
children are suffering from acute malnutrition and need urgent help.
The conflict in Yemen has pushed families further into poverty. With little income parents are struggling to afford food. An estimated 80% of the population are now in debt and are struggling to pay for food, water, transportation and vital health services, with devastating consequences to children’s health.
Right now, 2.3 million are acutely malnourished, that’s half of all children under the age of five. More than 400,000 children are suffering from the most visible and dangerous form of undernutrition – Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM). These children need urgent lifesaving treatment to survive.
With your support, we can continue to scale up our response to Yemen’s hunger crisis. Together we can work to admit and treat children suffering with SAM, by sending urgently needed life-saving supplies like therapeutic food. We can work to keep health centres open and 4.4 million malnourished children with micronutrient supplements.
You should see the children when they come in and you start treating them. When they begin to recover the first thing they do is look you in the eyes, and smile. That smile is what motivates you, what keeps you going because you want those children to survive and have a normal childhood, to be able to go to school and play.
- Dr. Karanveer Singh, Nutrition Manager UNICEF Yemen
Hanadi, two and a half was admitted to the UNICEF supported children’s ward at Sabeen hospital in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital city. She was suffering from violent diarrhoea and vomiting and is extremely malnourished, weighing just 7 kilos.
With no wage coming in since Hanadi’s father was injured in an accident at work, and fierce fighting cutting off supply routes, the family had been surviving on handouts from neighbours and on bread whenever they could find it.
Born into conflict, all eighteen months of Mazen’s life have been a struggle. Our teams met Mazen when he was admitted to a UNICEF supported hospital in Sana’a Yemen. There he was diagnosed with acute malnutrition and a skin disease.
He was placed on a treatment plan of therapeutic food and slowly began to recover. Although he has gained weight and is responding well to treatment, Mazen’s malnutrition has sadly caused damage to his eye.
“I was in pain seeing my baby sick, but he is now getting better. Before he had a fever, diarrhea and now he is improving. I thank go every day even though I have many hurdles ahead of me.”
Fatma, a Somali refugee living in Aden, Yemen for over 13 years, tells our team how grateful she is to see her baby recover from acute malnutrition. Saleh, who is a twin, is receiving round the clock care at the UNICEF supported hospital.
The threat of coronavirus is putting Yemen’s health system under even greater strain. Our teams on the ground are reporting a severe lack of resources.
“It’s a race against time. The threat of COVID-19 is so terrifying we have to do everything we can to stop the spread of the virus and help the people who may become infected. We have to be frank, the odds are stacked against us. Already we are supporting the largest humanitarian operation in the world, reaching more than 13 million people each month, we don’t have enough resources.” Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.
Access to safe water and sanitation supplies, like soap are already extremely limited in Yemen. In displacement camps, cramped conditions and shared toilets make social distancing nearly impossible.
Our programmatic work for children across all areas must continue. If we don’t reach children every month we could see mortality cases for malnutrition increase by 50%.
Clean water is critical to children’s health and survival. Yemen is one of the world’s most water-scarce countries and the conflict has made the situation so much worse. Across Yemen, 18 million people urgently need water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance.
In 2017, UNICEF helped contain one of the world’s worst cholera outbreaks in history. We did this by raising awareness amongst vulnerable communities, providing clean water and sanitation services, vaccinating millions of children against cholera, deploying rapid response teams to meet the urgent needs of people in affected areas, scaling up our response to treat children already infected.
The threat of another outbreak still looms. Right now, 5 million children are at risk from the threat of another cholera outbreak.
More than 2 million children are suffering from acute malnutrition. They urgently need your help. Donate now and help provide life-saving supplies to children in desperate need.
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