© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-1651/Pirozzi

Children attend a UNICEF-supported Sumejah Primary School in the remote desert village of Muredfeia. Over 80 per cent of the population lives in rural areas with limited access to basic services.


The Republic of Yemen located in the south-west of the Arabian Peninsula has been experiencing emergencies in 2008 on three fronts: (1) the conflict in the northern Governorate of Sa’ada; (2) the impact of current high prices on the national economy; and (3) the impact of a severe tropical storm on the south-east of the country, particularly Hadramout and Al-Mahara Governorates. All of these are having a strong impact on vulnerable women and children in a country with some of the poorest social indicators in infant, child and maternal mortality within the region. These emergencies divert budgets and human resources away from regular programmes. At the same time, they are opportunities to highlight the needs and rights of vulnerable children and women to access services.


The United Nations in Yemen uses a cluster-based approach for responding to all three emergencies mentioned above. Within this approach UNICEF provides leadership in nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education, and cooperates with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on protection. UNICEF is member of the UN Emergency Planning and Response Team chaired by the Resident Coordinator.

Health and Nutrition: UNICEF will procure and distribute essential emergency drugs and equipment to 200,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees; support three already established therapeutic feeding centres and 16 outpatient therapeutic programmes (OTPs); establish 11 new therapeutic feeding centres and 338 OTPs nationwide in 22 Governorates; and train 5,000 health staff, including 44 trainers and 660 doctors and nurses in treating severe malnutrition, and 6,000 volunteers in screening 120,000 severely acutely malnourished children; undertake social mobilization campaigns to promote appropriate infant and young child feeding behaviour; and support the implementation of two nutrition surveys (one in February and one in August 2009) in five areas of Yemen determined by socio-economic and topographic criteria.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: UNICEF will provide 2,000 families (14,000 persons/returnees) in Sa’ada with safe water and sanitation facilities by providing water filters at household level to ensure access to clean water; in Hadramout; construct/rehabilitate gender-responsive sanitary facilities in 30 schools (especially girls’ schools); and promote hygiene education and hygiene awareness programmes in 30 schools and for approximately 10,000 people in host communities.

Education: In Sa’ada, UNICEF will respond to the needs of 50,000 internally displaced and returnee children and 500 teachers providing basic scholastic materials for primary schoolchildren (notebooks, pencils and erasers); provide recreational kits and school supplies for 25,000 children; train teachers with particular attention to psycho-educational support, HIV/AIDS prevention and peace education; build capacity of local education authorities to conduct needs assessments, supply distribution and monitoring; and distribute self-learning materials for 3,000 IDPs. High food prices: UNICEF will raise awareness through an assessment and advocacy activities about the negative impact of high food prices on school enrolment in Yemen through 500 school councils involving parents and staff in 10 Governorates.

Child Protection: UNICEF will target approximately 5,000 children in Sa’ada and Hadramout through the following activities: build the capacity of at least 90 service providers in using play therapy; establish a network of professionals involved in psychosocial interventions; support recreational and psychosocial activities in Hadramout and Sa’ada; support the registration of at least 20,000 children; support the identification, registration and family tracing of unaccompanied minors in Sa’ada; advocate for the implementation of the rights of children involved in armed conflict; raise awareness on the impact of traditional practices; undertake a rapid assessment on child trafficking in Sa’ada; monitor the impact of high food prices vulnerable children in Yemen.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2009*
Sector US$
Health and Nutrition 950,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene 220,000
Education 780,000
Child Protection 100,000
Total*** 2,050,000***

* Funds received against this appeal will be used to respond to both the immediate and medium-term needs of children and women as outlined above. If UNICEF should receive funds in excess of the medium-term funding requirements for this emergency, UNICEF will use those funds to support other, underfunded emergencies.
** The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 7 per cent. The actual recovery rate on contributions will be calculated in accordance with UNICEF Executive Board Decision 2006/7 dated 9 June 2006.
*** The emergency needs reflected in the HAR are in addition to UNICEF’s needs of US$ 2.5 million outlined in the UN flood response plan.