Five years of unrest and conflict have left more than 10 million children in Yemen in urgent need of help.
With the countries health service near collapse, the situation has become terrible for children. A child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from preventable causes like diarrhoea, breathing infections and malnutrition.
The violence has ruined years of progress in the health and vaccination levels of Yemeni children, putting them at special risk of easily spread diseases like cholera, measles and polio.
Faced with such a crisis UNICEF and our partners are trying to reach as many children as possible. A nationwide door to door vaccination programme this year reached nearly 5 million children with oral polio vaccine and vitamin supplements.
A little girl being vaccinated by UNICEF medical workers in Yemen. Yemen/2016/Al-Zekri.
“In the last two years, more children have died from preventable diseases than those killed in the violence. This is why vaccination campaigns are so crucial to save the lives of Yemen’s children and to secure their future,” said Dr Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen.
40,000 vaccinators risked their lives to deliver health services to children even in the hardest to reach areas even crossing the front lines of the conflict. This work is happening at a critical time. With children in Yemen on the brink of famine, the risk of a deadly epidemic has become very high.
A boy from Sa’ada in Yemen being vaccinated. Yemen/2016/ Madhok
“Children are dying because the conflict is preventing them from getting the health care and nutrition they urgently need. Their immune systems are weak from months of hunger,” said Dr Relaño. “We call on all parties to the conflict to find a political solution to this crisis that has inflicted untold suffering on children.”
With no sign of peace on the horizon UNICEF is increasing its response, including treating 323,000 children against severe acute malnutrition, and providing basic healthcare services to one million children and over half a million pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.
Unfortunately this work is very underfunded and the needs of children in Yemen are increasing each day. Please donate today and help some of the most vulnerable children in the world.