At a glance: Yemen

Yemen conflict: A devastating toll for children

© UNICEF Yemen Video
Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, UNICEF has increased its response and provided lifesaving supplies and services across the country including in some of the most hard to reach areas.


LATEST: Conflict in Yemen: A living hell for children

The conflict in Yemen has taken a devastating toll, particularly on the most vulnerable members of society: children.

Even before the outbreak of conflict in March 2015, Yemen faced challenges from widespread poverty, food insecurity and lack of health services.

But now, more than 22 million people – and nearly all children – are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The country’s infrastructure has been destroyed and its health services crippled.

Although the actual numbers are likely to be much higher, the United Nations has been able to verify that more than 6,500 children have been killed or injured in the violence since the conflict began. Even after the conflict ends, the effects of malnutrition – stunted growth and delayed cognitive development – may linger. In the worst cases, it is fatal.

The number of out-of-school children – already high before the conflict – has reached more than 2 million. Education for these children cannot wait.

The country’s water and sanitation infrastructure has also been ravaged, posing serious health risks. An estimated 16 million people do not have access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene.

Half the health facilities in Yemen are not functioning due to damage or a lack of operating budget and staff.

UNICEF is working hard to alleviate the effects of the conflict on children and families by delivering lifesaving services and supplies, including health, nutrition and vaccination services for mothers, newborns and children; preparing for potential disease outbreaks; expanding treatment services for children with malnutrition; and supporting displaced families through provision of safe water and hygiene facilities.

UNICEF and its partners urgently need to secure funding. Yemen’s needs are great to provide the most basic health, education and protection services in 2018.

>> Learn more about the humanitarian situation for children in Yemen


Meet: Children and families affected by the crisis

a child battling malnutrition

a determined student

a child fighting cholera

>>  Read more stories and perspectives from Yemen


Read: The latest press releases and statements

In Yemen, millions of children could soon be without food or water as economic crisis deepens and Hudaydah violence drags on
NEW YORK, 18 October 2018 – “Millions of desperate children and families across Yemen could soon be without food, clean water or sanitation services because of the deepening economic crisis and unrelenting violence in the port city of Hudaydah.

Health workers in Yemen reach more than 306,000 people with cholera vaccines during four-day pause in fighting
GENEVA/NEW YORK 5 October 2018 – More than 306,000 people in Yemen, including over 164,000 children under the age of 15, were vaccinated against cholera as part of a joint WHO-UNICEF campaign that concluded today.

More violence in Yemen’s Hodeida will push children further into the abyss
NEW YORK, 21 September 2018 – “Renewed violence in Hodeida is yet another blow to peace efforts in Yemen, a country sliding further into chaos and misery.

Geneva Palais briefing note on education under attack in Yemen
GENEVA, 14 September 2018 -  “After more than three years of fighting, the situation of children in Yemen is getting worse, not better."

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on the eve of Yemen peace talks
NEW YORK, 5 September 2018 – “Twenty-one children were killed in the Yemen conflict in July, according to United Nations teams on the ground.

Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, on latest deadly attacks on children in Yemen
NEW YORK, 24 August 2018 – “I had hoped that the outrage that followed the Saada attack in Yemen two weeks ago would be a turning point in the conflict."

Unconscionable attack on children should be turning point in Yemen’s brutal war – enough is enough
NEW YORK, 9 August 2018 - “The horrific attack on a bus in Sa’ada, Yemen, reportedly killing and maiming scores of children, marks a low point in the country’s brutal war."

Drinking water systems under repeated attack in Yemen
SANA’A/NEW YORK, 1 August 2018 – “Attacks against civilian facilities and services are unacceptable, inhumane and in breach of the basic laws of war.

>> See the latest from the UNICEF press centre



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