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Map of Yemen
UNICEF photo: a girl, outside a temporary settlement, looks at camera © UNICEF Yemen/2016/San/Mohyee Al-Zikri The conflict in Yemen has forced millions of Yemenis to leave their houses as a last resort. Nearly 1.4 million children like Nadiah, have been internally displaced and reside in settlements under precarious conditions.


In 2017, UNICEF and partners plan for:
4.5 million

children under 5 received micronutrient interventions

5.3 million

children under 5 vaccinated against polio

10 million

affected people accessed safe water supply

2017 Requirements: US$339,034,178

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Total people in need: 20.7 million1
Total children (<18) in need: 11.3 million2

Total people to be reached in 2017: 20.3 million
Total children to be reached in 2017: 14.3 million

Confronted with a significant acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/cholera outbreak and with the country on the verge of famine, Yemen is one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. There are 20.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (73 per cent of the population).5 Given the stalemate with the political negotiations and with no end in sight to the conflict, violence continues to claim civilians’ lives. UNICEF was able to verify that 1,676 children have been killed and 2,760 have been injured, while at least 1,800 children were recruited or used by parties to the conflict.6 The AWD/cholera outbreak announced in late-April has spread across the country, further aggravating water, sanitation and healthcare needs. At least 540,000 AWD/cholera are expected until December 2017.7 Over 15.7 million people are now in need of access to safe water and sanitation and 14.8 million have limited or no access to health services.8 An estimated 17 million people are food insecure with many at risk of famine. AWD/Cholera could not have come at a worse time for the children of Yemen. More than 1.8 million children (400,000 of whom under 5) and 1 million pregnant and lactating women are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition, including an estimated 385,000 children with severe acute malnutrition, factors which increasingly place children at imminent risk of death.9 More than 70 per cent of the population are income poor and at least a third of the poorest and most vulnerable Yemenis are left without any social protection support. The near collapse of national services has left nearly 2 million children out of school. Almost 2 million internally displaced persons, nearly half of them children, as well as 1 million returnees and host communities are also in need of assistance.10

Humanitarian strategy

2017 programme targets


  • 323,000 children under 5 affected by severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admitted for treatment3
  • 4,528,000 children under 5 received micronutrient interventions


  • 5,352,000 children under 5 vaccinated against polio
  • 1.13 million children under 5 received primary health care
  • 75 Diarrhoea Treatment Centres (DTCs) are functional (Cholera response)


  • 10,068,000 affected people accessed safe water supply
  • 12,000,000 affected people received consumable hygiene kits
  • 6,000,000 people living in areas at high risk of cholera have access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation (Cholera response)

Child protection

  • 571,000 children benefited from psychosocial support
  • 1,347,000 people reached with information on protecting themselves from mines/unexploded ordnance/explosive remnants of war


  • 364,427 provided with access to education via temporary learning spaces, school rehabilitation and capitation grants
  • 324,789 conflict-affected children received school suppli

Social protection

  • 32,072 crisis affected and extremely vulnerable people provided with humanitarian cash transfers

Communication for development

  • 12,000,000 people reached with cholera key behaviour change practices and messages

Life-saving health, nutrition, WASH, education, child protection and social protection services, supported by Communication for Development (C4D), will be delivered to 17.3 million people, including 9.9 million girls and boys. In coordination with the Humanitarian Country Team, UNICEF leads the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Education and Nutrition clusters and the Child Protection sub-cluster and is an active member of the Health cluster. Support to strengthen national systems and institutions - particularly the nearly collapsing health system - remains a priority, including by providing essential supplies and covering basic operational costs. Malnutrition prevention and treatment will be expanded. Some 1.2 million mothers and caregivers will receive infant and young child feeding counselling and 4.5 million children will receive micronutrient supplements. An additional 1.3 million conflict affected individuals will receive key information about humanitarian assistance as part of the accountability to affected population framework. UNICEF has put an integrated cholera/AWD response plan in place, consisting of coordinated interventions in Health, WASH and C4D sectors, aiming at reducing the occurrence of the disease, and minimizing morbidity and fatality, through effective prevention and timely response, reaching 12 million people. Some 1.8 million children will gain sustained access to education through the rehabilitation of schools, establishment of temporary learning spaces and distribution of school materials. UNICEF will also scale up psychosocial services to prevent long-term harm linked to deteriorated humanitarian situation and exposure to violence and expand the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM).

Results from 2017

As of 4 July 2017, UNICEF has received US$170.3 million against the original appeal of US$236.6 million appeal (50 per cent funded)4. However, the appeal is now being revised to US$339 million to account for the AWD/cholera response in line with the revised Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). UNICEF has provided health and nutrition services in health facilities, and through mobile teams, outreach campaigns and community volunteers in hard-to-reach locations. Some 4.8 million children have been vaccinated against polio and nearly 82,000 received Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) treatment. Nearly 2.2 million people gained access to water through rehabilitation and support for operation of systems, while hygiene kits reached over 170,000 people. More than 915,000 children were covered by the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM). Mine risk education has been provided to 563,000 children and community members and 210,000 children have been reached by psychosocial support activities. The cash transfer project has expanded, reaching over 32,000 most vulnerable people in Taizz. Following the cholera AWD/outbreak in April, a multi-sector response plan was put into action in hotspot districts to improve response, airlifting lifesaving supplies for treatment, providing safe water through rehabilitation and disinfection of water sources, and raising awareness among the public on how to prevent AWD/cholera. Over 5 million people have been reached so far. Overall results for children in 2017 have been achieved despite funding gaps, an extremely complex working environment, access constraints into and within the country, non-availability of supplies locally and low supply of local currency. Education continues to have very little funding, which has led to the reduction of the related targets for the second half of the year.

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Funding requirements

UNICEF revised its humanitarian requirement for 2017 from US$ 236.6 million to US$ 339 million, to address the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable children in Yemen. As the number of people in need of assistance continues to grow, funding for humanitarian programmes across all sectors is critical.

IIn addition to the ongoing nutrition response against the famine alert in Yemen, additional funds are needed to address emerging needs arising from the recent AWD/cholera outbreak, to minimize the case fatality rate and prevent further spread of the disease. At least 12 million people living in priority districts will be reached through cholera-related response activities. At the same time, response to the nutrition crisis must not be neglected, severe acute malnutrition and diarrheal disease create a vicious cycle, each making the other more severe and more likely to occur, putting thousands of children at greater risk if not treated timely.

UNICEF urgently needs additional funds to:

  • Provide integrated nutrition services of screening, treatment and prevention of malnutrition for children and pregnant and lactating omen (PLWs).
  • Improve population access to adequate water supplies and sanitation, as well as hygiene practices at household level.
  • Improve infection prevention and control in prioritized communities and support early detection of cases at health facilities and at household level.
  • Improve case management capacities to prevent excess morbidity and mortality, by setting up and providing supplies for the functioning of Oral Rehydration Points and Diarrhoea Treatment Centers.
  • Raise awareness among affected and at-risk communities on key behaviour practices including water disinfection, handwashing and appropriate food handling as well as referral and management of cases at household levels.

Without sufficient funds, UNICEF will not be able to support over 200 Oral Rehydration Corners; 6 million people living in high risk communities will lack access to safe drinking water on a regular basis; 50 per cent of functional Diarrhea Treatment Centers will lack adequate WASH infrastructure, and it will not be possible to carry out community mobilization activities targeting over 10 million people.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Periodic Monitoring Review Jan – Apr 2017”, OCHA, April 2017. These figures are as of April 2017 and are currently under revision.
2 Estimated, based on ‘Periodic Monitoring Review Jan – Apr 2017”, OCHA, April 2017. These figures are as of April 2017 and are currently under revision.
3 Figure corresponds to UNICEF total SAM target for 2017.
4 Available funds included funding received against the current appeal of US$97.3 million and US$39.1 million carried forward from the previous year and funding from other sources.
5 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Periodic Monitoring Review Jan – Apr 2017”, OCHA, April 2017. These figures are as of April 2017 and are currently under revision.
6 MRM verified cases March 2015– 30 June 2017.
7 Based on integrated inter-cluster cholera response plan , June 2017
8 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Periodic Monitoring Review Jan – Apr 2017”, OCHA, April 2017. These figures are as of April 2017 and are currently under revision.
9 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Periodic Monitoring Review Jan – Apr 2017”, OCHA, April 2017. These figures are as of April 2017 and are currently under revision.
10 Protection Cluster Yemen, ‘Task Force on Population Movement’, 14th report, May 2017.
11 Other Resources from non-humanitarian/development funds. These resources were not received against the original 2017 HAC appeal but are contributing to the emergency cholera response, therefore can be considered as received against the revised 2017 HAC.
12 C4D was not included in the original 2017 HAC appeal.