Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world – and children are being robbed of their futures.
Yemen crisis: What you need to know
What’s happening in Yemen?
Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with more than 24 million people – some 80 per cent of the population – in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children. Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, the country has become a living hell for the country’s children.
With COVID-19 now spreading rapidly, Yemen is facing an emergency within an emergency. Sanitation and clean water are in short supply. Only half of health facilities are functioning, and many that remain operational lack basic equipment like masks and gloves, let alone oxygen and other essential supplies to treat the coronavirus. Many health workers are receiving no salaries or incentives, and 10.2 million children don't have access to basic healthcare.
Meanwhile, economic shocks, conflict, floods, desert locusts and now COVID-19 are creating a perfect storm that could reverse hard-earned food security gains.
How is the crisis affecting children?
Children continue to be killed and maimed in the conflict, while the damage and closure of schools and hospitals has disrupted access to education and health services, leaving children even more vulnerable and robbing them of their futures.
Before COVID-19, around 2 million children were out of school. Now, because of the pandemic, schools have been closed around the country, leaving some 7.8 million children unable to access education. As the coronavirus spreads, tens of thousands more children could develop life-threatening severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, while the overall number of malnourished children under the age of five could increase to a total of 2.4 million.
Read more about how the coronavirus is impacting children in Yemen.
What is UNICEF doing to help children in Yemen?
UNICEF is on the ground to save children’s lives, to help them cope with the impact of conflict, and to help them to recover and resume their childhoods. Read more about UNICEF’s work and results in the country, and how you can help.
Information accurate as of May 2020. Check here for the most up to date statistics on the situation in Yemen.
Yemen crisis snapshot
Recent Yemen news and features
Yemen sees return to alarming levels of food insecurity - UNICEF, WFP, FAO & OCHA
Yemen 5 years on: Children, conflict and COVID-19
After 5 years of conflict, Yemen's children are in desperate need of aid
UNICEF airlifts COVID-19 testing kits to Yemen to boost response as cases soar
What UNICEF is doing in Yemen
UNICEF is on the ground across Yemen to save children’s lives, to help them cope with the impact of conflict, and to help them to recover and resume their childhoods.
Conflict and violence have pushed more families into poverty and deprivation. UNICEF is helping treat severe acute malnutrition in children by providing essential therapeutic food and medical supplies.
As part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic, UNICEF has shipped 18,000 COVID-19 tests and more than 33,000 N95 respirators, 33,000 face shields, and 18,000 gowns – crucial personal protective equipment needed by frontline workers. UNICEF is also training around 30,000 health workers in infection prevention and control, and distributing thousands of hygiene kits.
Children are also being helped with victim assistance and education on mines and explosive remnants of war. Meanwhile, UNICEF and partners are rehabilitating damaged schools and establishing safe learning spaces.
Donate now to help save and change children’s lives
Results for children in Yemen
Read about UNICEF's humanitarian appeals
Find out about UNICEF's 2019 appeals on major emergencies affecting children