AMMAN/GENEVA, 2 September 2009 – UNICEF launched today an appeal for $6.1 million to meet the needs of women and children affected by the current fighting in Yemen’s northern region of Saada.
The appeal is part of the inter-agency Flash Appeal launched by the United Nations for nearly $23.5 million, to cover humanitarian needs until the end of the current year.
“Children have been deeply affected by this conflict and will continue to feel its impact for many years to come,” said Aboudou Karimou Adjibade, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “The international community needs to rally together to help all those children who have little if any access to food, health, education and protection.”
Nearly half of the funding - $3 million - will help provide for the immediate water, sanitation and hygiene needs of the displaced population and the host communities. Access to safe water is severely limited, and hygiene conditions in the camps are posing serious health hazards. To protect children from possible disease outbreaks, UNICEF will work with partners from the Government, United Nations agencies and international as well local non-governmental organizations to provide safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene kits.
The number of school-aged children among internally displaced persons is estimated at 55,000. To ensure that these children’s schooling is not interrupted by the conflict. UNICEF will set up learning spaces, distribute learning materials and train teachers. Some $1.25 million have been requested for education programmes.
UNICEF is also requesting funding to address malnutrition among displaced children as well as children of host communities. Some 250,000 persons are expected to benefit from such programmes, including 75,000 children under the age of five.
Over the next four months, UNICEF and partners will also:
UNICEF is concerned about the humanitarian situation in northern Yemen. It is estimated that around 150,000 persons have been uprooted by the fighting with no access to basic services. Children represent at least over 60 per cent of the displaced. Due to the ongoing fighting and lack of security, many of the displaced have been beyond the reach of the aid community.
Note to editors:
A Flash Appeal is how many UN agencies respond to a sudden humanitarian crisis coordinate their response and present a unified set of needs to donors. It provides a concise overview of urgent life-saving needs and maps out a plan to address acute needs for up to six months based on the best available information at the time of the appeal.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information, please contact:
Najwa Mekki, UNICEF Regional Office Middle East and North Africa,
Tel + 962 6 550 2425,
Charbel Raji, UNICEF Regional Office Middle East & North Africa,
Tel + 962 6 550 2422,
Naseem-ur-Rehman, UNICEF Yemen,
Tel + 976 711 760 002,