© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-1732/Brekke

Families await tents and supplies at the entrance of the Al-Mazrak camp in the northern Hajja Governate. Intensified fighting between government forces and rebel groups have displaced over 175,000 people, 80 per cent of whom are children and women.

Critical Issues for Children and Women

Intensification of conflict in the northern governorate of Sa’ada in mid-August 2009 has led to a situation of acute humanitarian need that is expected to become more pronounced in early 2010 as a result of a continuous cycle of displacement, loss of livelihoods and further erosion of already stretched coping mechanisms. Women and children comprise about 70 per cent of those affected.  The conflict is spilling over to the neighbouring governorates of Al-Jawf, Amran and Hajjah where, as a result of damage to infrastructure and the forced withdrawal of humanitarian personnel from areas of fighting, access to basic services – health, nutrition, water and sanitation and education – is also becoming increasingly limited. This is leaving children and women in the conflict areas and those who are internally displaced extremely vulnerable. Tensions in the southern governorates of Abyan, Al-Dhale and Lhajj where opposition to the current regime is strongest, has led to interruptions in the provision of health and education services, increasing the vulnerability of children in particular.

Planned Humanitarian Action for 2010

In 2010, UNICEF will work together with the Government of Yemen, United Nations agencies and NGO partners to respond to the needs of more than 175,000 people displaced by the ongoing armed conflict in the north, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people indirectly affected by conflict, including host communities who now have reduced access to basic services such as water, food, and health care. As leader of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and Nutrition Clusters and Child Protection Sub-Cluster, and co-leader of the Education Cluster, UNICEF’s focus will be on ensuring access to health and nutrition, safe drinking water and appropriate sanitation and hygiene, as well as on creating educational opportunities and taking steps to build a stronger protective environment for children. Following are the expected results of UNICEF emergency interventions:

Health and Nutrition: Essential health care service provision will expand to benefit around 180,000 children and 300,000 women living in displaced camps and host communities, mainly through outreach mobile clinics. The UNICEF-led Nutrition Cluster will develop an effective nutrition surveillance system to monitor the nutritional status of conflict-affected children under five and will support community-based management of acute malnutrition.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH): Sufficient safe water supply and sanitation services, as per Sphere standards, will reach up to 70,000 persons in displaced camps and 60,000 people in host communities through the construction and rehabilitation of water supply systems and sanitary facilities, including at schools and health facilities. UNICEF and cluster partners will also distribute hygiene kits and continue to promote good hygiene behaviours in camps, schools and host communities.

Education: Around 305,000 conflict-affected children and those in host communities will access schooling in UNICEF-funded temporary learning spaces and rehabilitated schools. Teachers will receive training through local education authorities in psychosocial support, integration into school and in accelerated learning programmes, improving capacity to respond more effectively to the needs of conflict-affected children.

Child Protection: Children affected by conflict will be able to access psychosocial support via child-friendly spaces and community-based protection networks, established in partnership with Save the Children. Family tracing and reunification services will also be provided for around 2,000 separated and unaccompanied children, while up to 110,000 persons will benefit from awareness-raising activities aimed at reducing exposure to conflict-associated risks, such as exploitation, violence and unexploded ordnance accidents.

Summary of UNICEF Emergency Needs to fulfil
Core Commitments for Children for 2010
Sector US$
Health 2,257,000
Nutrition 5,050,000
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) 6,376,000
Education 3,300,000
Child Protection 2,026,000
Total 19,009,000