Children under attack in Yemen: Hameed’s story
SANA’A, Yemen, 11 August 2017 – Twelve-year-old Hameed is lying on a bed at the Thula Public Hospital north of Sana'a. This is the second time he has been hospitalized in the last few weeks, both times to receive treatment for cholera.
Families in despair as cholera outbreak spreads across Yemen
ALHESN, Sana’a, Yemen, 18 July 2017 – A whirl of dust and wind sweeps through Alhesn, a village perched atop Sana’a’s highest hill. A young girl and her little brother slowly climb up the steep stony path leading to the village, carrying half-filled jerry cans of water. Nearby, a shepherd herds his cattle through the walled entrance of this hamlet, which is home to 70 families.
Fathya and the army of volunteers combating cholera in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 July 2017 – It was in late April that cholera and acute watery diarrhoea broke out in Yemen, spreading rapidly across the country. By the end of June, the number of suspected cholera cases had surpassed 200,000 with over 1,400 deaths.
Falling through the cracks: Yemen’s forgotten children in a cholera crisis
SANA'A, Yemen, 23 June 2017 – Worried parents wait outside the cramped paediatric emergency ward in Ma’abar hospital, 100 kilometers south of Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. Helpless and unsure how to save their suffering children, they look expectantly at the few doctors and nurses on duty who hurriedly move in and out of the ward, wearing scrubs and masks.
Children of Yemen are in the grip of the second cholera outbreak in six months
SANA'A, Yemen, 22 May 2017 – For Um Taha and four of her children, the past few days have been nothing short of harrowing. Camped in a little corner of the diarrhoea treatment centre at the Al Sabayeen hospital in Sana’a, the 39-year-old mother has spent sleepless nights trying to take care of her children, all of whom have been diagnosed with cholera. Her husband is looking after their other five children back home.
In Yemen, a young girl overcomes adversity to excel in school
ADEN, Yemen, 1 May 2017 – Thirteen-year-old Hosson is a ninth grade pupil at 26 September School in Malla district, Aden. She is one of the top performing students in her class, and loves to teach younger children maths. But despite her academic success, she is regularly bullied by her classmates. They call her “Al-Barsah”, which means “leper”.
Unsung heroes: Vaccinators climb mountains to save children’s lives in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 27 March 2017 – Vaccinating children against life-threatening diseases in the middle of an intense conflict can be a tough challenge. Over the past few weeks, polio vaccinators in Yemen have braved rough terrains and crossed hostile frontlines, criss-crossing valleys and mountains to reach children, some of whom have been displaced by the conflict.
Amid conflict and food insecurity in Yemen, a young girl fights for her life
SANA'A, Yemen, 26 March 2017 – One-year-old Khawla Mohammed lies on the bed in Al-Sabeen Hospital in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a with a tube running through her nose. She is suffering from malnutrition and is also battling a chest infection which has affected her breathing.
In Yemen, fighting to survive in a country plagued by malnutrition
HAJJAH, Yemen, 14 February 2017 - For 19-year-old Mohammed, the first rays of light falling in the small hospital room only bring more bad news. His two-year-old cousin Yehia has succumbed to the curse that has consumed his country: severe and acute malnutrition.
In Yemen, conflict and poverty exacerbate child malnutrition
SANA'A, Yemen, 30 January 2017 – Abdulmalik lies in a hospital bed, twisting and turning. He hasn’t slept well, he hasn’t eaten well. In fact, ever since he was born five months ago, little Abdulmalik has known nothing but discomfort and pain.
For one child education is solution to Yemen violence
SA’ADA, Yemen, 5 January 2017 - Before the conflict in Yemen escalated, 10-year-old Fahd lived peacefully with his family in the northern city of Sa’ada. His routine was to wake up every morning, go to school, play with friends in the evenings and go back home for dinner and do his school homework.
Unconditional cash grants are a lifeline for a mother in Yemen
TAIZ, Yemen, 15 November 2016 – The Mahwa neighborhood in Taiz city is a slum packed with overcrowded shanties. It is not the kind of place suitable for a healthy living. But it is amazing how people survive here amidst disease and deprivation. It is said here, with irony, that empty stomachs are the only free space in Mahwa. At night thousands of families sleep on the ground under the open sky.
Nowhere to call home: A Yemeni mother’s life
ADEN, Yemen, 1 November 2016 – For nearly a decade now, all that 42-year-old Um Ali has known is a life of displacement. She has experienced the bitterness of losing her loved ones in attacks, the deadly echoes of rocket fire and airstrikes and the daily trauma that accompanies displacement.
A mission to save lives in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 27 October 2016 – “Hurry up, we can’t be late,” says Waleed. “If we don’t get there early, there’s a good chance we will miss out on meeting parents and their children.” He speaks in a hurried voice as we jump into a bulletproof car and speed off towards the outskirts of the city. I scramble around in the front seat, looking for my pen and paper to take notes.
The fight against cholera in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 25 October 2016 – For 35-year-old Um Arafat, things couldn’t get worse. After rushing her six-year-old son to the hospital for a suspected case of cholera, the mother of seven has now herself been diagnosed and admitted in a room next door. Frail and disoriented, she tries to recount what happened to her son. Her daughter stands by her side and completes her sentences whenever her mother is too exhausted to speak.
In Yemen, a mother’s determination keeps her children in school
SANA'A, Yemen, 3 October 2016 – Meet Um Osama, a fighter in Yemen but with a different kind of cause. Armed with nothing but hope for a brighter and safer future for her children, the mother of two is determined that her children continue their education in spite of the ongoing fighting.
From sitting on the floor to the top of the class in Yemen
ADEN, Yemen, 15 September 2016 – Rania, currently in Grade 8 at Al-Seddek School in Aden, is an incredible 13-year-old girl. Despite many challenges and pressures such as marginalization and poverty, she has continued to attend school, even in the throes of Yemen’s ongoing conflict. Although she is called names by other students and sometimes has to sit on the floor when the room is full, she is currently top of her class.
A day in the life of a community midwife in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 10 August 2016 – At 8:20 am, I arrived at the Bani Hushaysh District, due east of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. The journey had started in the city at 7:00 am, and I was joined by UNICEF colleagues and staff from the Sana’a Governorate Health Office.
Averting a major health crisis in Yemen’s capital city
SANA’A, Yemen, 3 August 2016 – When conflict escalated in Yemen in March 2015, the resulting damage to infrastructure cut off electricity to a sewage treatment plant that turns human waste into harmless manure for fertilizing agricultural lands. Production at the plant ground to a halt, and raw sewage water streamed dangerously through Bani Al-Hareth, a district north of the capital, Sana’a.
Back to school after fighting in Yemen’s conflict
ADEN, Yemen, 20 July 2016 – The room was silent and dark except for the small dim light of a rechargeable lamp in the corner where 16-year-old Ahmed* was reading his books. Since Yemen plunged into a brutal conflict in March 2015, electricity has been severely affected throughout the country, including Crater district in the southern Governorate of Aden where Ahmed lives.
Families welcome vaccination campaign in Yemen
AL MUKALLA, Yemen, 22 June, 2016 – When two young health workers knocked at his door to vaccinate his seven grandchildren, Abdul Aziz Mohammed Basaad welcomed them into his home. Many parents simply bring their children to the door to be vaccinated, but Basaad’s offer of a brief rest in an air-conditioned room and a glass of juice and cold water were his way of showing his appreciation.
In Yemen, US$100 can save a life
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 May 2016 – Nestled in the heart of one of Sana’a’s many congested slums, is a single room with cold, bare walls that 33-year-old Nabeelah calls home. Inside, there is one bed, an open toilet and a small kitchen that can barely fit one person.
Helping children cope with violence in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 14 April 2016 – “Boom! Boom!” a girl yells, before she and four others dive to the ground in unison. A few minutes later, one of them starts screaming. The others rise to their feet and begin to calm her down. “You are ok, you are not hurt,” one of the girls says, comforting her classmate.
The midwife of Mukalla, Yemen
MUKALLA, Yemen, 29 March 2016 – Entesar Saeed Bamoumen is a household name, here in the Roukeb district of the port city of Mukalla. You’ll see her criss-cross around the streets with her signature medical bag.
In Yemen, a young Messi from Sana’a
SANA’A, Yemen, 25 January 2016 – Rafik, age 15, is from Sana’a, the main city of Yemen. Eight years ago, Rafik lost his leg in an air strike while playing football in the north-western governate of Sa’ada.
In Yemen, a classroom called home
IBB, Yemen, 18 January 2016 – For 37-year-old Mariyam, survival is a daily challenge. The days pass slowly, but it’s the evenings when pain and panic grip her. Her 13 children look to her for food, but there is none to offer.
In Yemen, helping teachers help children
SANA’A, Yemen, 27 October 2015 – "It’s miserable when your home is beside a target,” says Tahani, an English teacher from Sana’a, Yemen. One morning in late March, the city was awakened by an explosion that shattered windows and shook buildings.
Yemen conflict: A devastating toll for children
In Yemen, eager to learn, despite the fighting
SANA’A, Yemen, 25 September 2015 – Rahaf Mohamed Saeed and her family lived very close to her school in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz. “She was one of the most active fifth grade students in her school,” her father says, remembering a different time.
“They call me teacher”: Promoting better health in the midst of Yemen’s crisis
AL HUSHA, Yemen, 17 August 2015 – Abdulghani Saeed has been busy recently. For the past several months, he has dedicated every spare moment to working with families desperate for health care.
In Yemen, mobile health teams help save lives and prevent illness
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 August 2015 – They call them the ‘rescue cars’. Travelling across the country, often on roads fraught with danger, they provide a lifeline to families and communities in remote Yemen that have been cut off from vital health services since the escalation of violence across much of the country.
Yemen’s marginalized children caught in the middle of conflict
Jamal Kholidi, a 13-year-old boy from Crater in Aden, saw his house destroyed by a rocket. He and his family now live in a makeshift camp at a school, along with 76 other homeless families who have poured in from Aden and Lahj.
In Yemen, a mother struggles to keep her children alive
AMMAN, Jordan/ADEN, Yemen, 20 May 2015 – Mohammed Hussain* and his family are among the survivors of recent heavy fighting in Salah Al-Din, Borykah, an area in Aden, southern Yemen. “I am sad. I am very sad, everything around me is falling apart,” 13-year-old Mohammed says. “I hear my mother hopelessly crying in the night. I hear my stomach cramping out of starvation.”
"Please stop this war": Yemeni children hope for end to conflict
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 May 2015 – Seven-year-old Nada Nussir will not be going to school tomorrow. Or the day after. Or the day after that. And her 4-year old friend, Abdul Rahman, will never return to school at all. “Abdul was 4 years old, and he was killed by a sniper,” Nada says. “I do not want to die like him.”
After dodging bullets in school, Yemeni children hope for a safer future
SANA’A, Yemen, 28 January 2015 – Riham looks happy and hopeful this morning, in sharp contrast to how she felt a few days ago, when her city was engulfed by heavy firefighting. The 13-year-old witnessed a battle at close quarters when her school was caught in a crossfire between government forces and armed groups known as ‘popular committees’.
In Yemen, one girl fights back against the practice of early marriage
A community in Yemen transforms its school – and its environs
SANA’A, Yemen, 20 February 2014 – Stray bullets had turned the schoolyard into a battleground.
In Yemen, a major campaign to immunize under-5s
SANA’A, Yemen, 16 July 2013 –The huge turnout of mothers, fathers and even grandfathers at the start of the National Immunization Days (NIDs) campaign made for an impressive sight in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a. Many had travelled long distances to ensure their children got vaccinated. “I brought my daughter to get vaccine drops because I don’t want her to be disabled,” said Amenah’s father, Abdullah Alhasani.
For Yemeni children, stopping the cycle of malnutrition
SANA’A, Yemen, 21 May 2013 - Born just over a year apart, sisters Onood and Ohood Nassar Al Hajria may face very different futures. Ohood’s eyes shine and sparkle as she plays with her younger sibling. Slightly unsure, 3-year-old Onood looks up at her older sister for approval.
Children affected by the 2011 crisis in Yemen slowly return to normalcy through the classroom
SANA’A, Yemen, 21 December 2012 – “It was because of the money,” says Hussein*. “I just shot when ordered, and defended myself,” he adds.
In Yemen, a community volunteer overcomes obstacles to helping malnourished children
HODEIDAH GOVERNORATE, Yemen, 31 July 2012 – Mona Ali Aiash, a community volunteer in Deer Aiash Village of Hodeidah Governorate, conducts bi-monthly house visits to families with children under age 5.
In Yemen, therapeutic feeding centres treat child malnutrition, educate parents
SANA’A, Yemen, 13 July 2012 – Odai is recovering from severe malnutrition. At 4 years and 10 months old, he weighs a mere 10 kg. He had experienced bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea for weeks. Eleven days ago, his grandmother, Katiba, brought him to the therapeutic feeding clinic at Sana’a Sabeen Hospital.
In Yemen, landmines and unexploded ordnance pose grave threats to children
SANA’A, Yemen, 12 July 2012 – Ten-year-old Ameed doesn’t enjoy leaving the house so much anymore, but today he has to. His father is taking him to the hospital. Two months ago, he stepped on a landmine, which destroyed one leg and maimed the other. Now, the pain has gotten worse.
In Yemen, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake calls for efforts to improve child nutrition and well-being
SANA'A, Yemen, 10 July 2012 – “Wouldn't you instinctively want to invest in hope more than horror?” These were the words of UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake during his three-day visit to Yemen this week.
UNICEF supports a massive measles and polio vaccination campaign in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 3 April 2012 – Mohammed Abdulkarim Saeed and his two sons, 1-month-old Yusuf and 18-month-old Ibrahim, eagerly awaited the launch of the second phase of the national measles and polio campaign in Sana’a.
In Yemen, day care centres offer safe haven and education to Somali refugee children
ADEN, Yemen, 30 January 2012 – The voice of Miryam Mohammed, a 10-year-old Somali girl, echoed around the small rooms of her day care centre. She and the other children are singing the Somali national anthem.
Back-To-School campaign facilitating access to schools amid continuing violence in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 October 2011 - Two weeks after the belated launch of the new school year in Yemen, many thousands of children in the capital city of Sana’a are either still at home or in the process of finding a safe and available school.
In Yemen, one female student is speaking out for girls’ education
IBB, Yemen, 3 October 2011 - There is a spirit of harmony in this classroom packed with teenage students at the Al-Hussein Ben Ali School in Al-Mazahin; where the boys happily take their place on the floor, leaving the few available desks for the girls. “As long as our sisters keep coming to school, we have no problem sitting on the floor,” said Ismail, 15, as the other boys around him all nodded in agreement.
Displaced youth in South Yemen cope with the effects of war
ADEN, Yemen, 15 September 2011 - It is the fourth day of Ramadan in Aden, a port city in the south of Yemen, and the temperature has reached over 40 degrees centigrade. Although it is summer holiday, the yard of Belqis School in Aden is full of children. Some play under the sun, while others attend educational sessions in a tent organized by UNICEF. The children are from families displaced by fighting in the restive region of Abyan between government troops and militants suspected of links to al-Qaeda.
Staff profile: UNICEF Yemen Nutrition Officer fights child malnutrition with a passion
SANA’A, Yemen, 5 August 2011 – “I graduated in Liverpool in 2006 with a Master’s degree in tropical paediatrics, and on graduation day, someone asked me what I thought I could do with such a degree in Yemen,” Dr. Rajia Sharhan says, laughing. “I replied that I was going back to treat the children that I once didn’t know how to treat.”
Field Diary: Life as a UNICEF Emergency Coordinator in Yemen
HARADH, Yemen, 29 June 2011 – It’s noon and we are in a UNICEF-supported school in Haradh, north-western Yemen, close to the Saudi border. The bell in the schoolyard has just rung, telling more than 1,000 students that it’s time for recess.
A young man holds on to his dream amid violence in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 30 March 2011 – Ahmed Al-Sayyani, 17, is holding on to his aspirations, despite the violence in his country.
Escalating violence affects children attending school in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 21 March 2011 – For Yusuf Al-Nihari, 10, and his older brother, Abdul Mutaleb, walking to school every day past anti-government protester tents and security force checkpoints has become a real struggle.
UNICEF advocates for the rights of young African migrants stranded in Yemen
HARADH, Yemen, 1 February 2011 – “Please form a queue and wait until it is your turn,” says the blue-capped official from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), who manages the registration of African migrants at the departure centre in Haradh, a dusty border town in north-western Yemen.
Child-friendly schools create opportunities for all in targeted districts across Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 2 December 2010 – Schools in developed countries might take some basics for granted, including skilled teachers and an atmosphere that is conducive to children’s well-being. But in Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa, few schools took such measures into consideration until recently.
In Yemen, community midwives save lives
HODEIDAH, Yemen, 23 November 2010 – Foreegah Ayeesh still remembers the afternoon a few months ago when she was called to check on Amat al-Rahman, who was 17 and pregnant.
In Yemen, abuse at home can lead to life on the street
SANA’A, Yemen, 19 November 2010 – Life on the street can be very hard, especially if, like Khaled, you are only 16 years old and have no money and nowhere to go. For this teenager, however, anything seemed better than living at home with his family.
UNICEF UK Ambassador Martin Bell says children are worst victims of Yemen crisis
AL-MAZRAQ, Yemen, 31 August 2010 – UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies Martin Bell witnessed the horrifying impact of conflict on children when he visited northern Yemen recently. Fighting between government and rebel forces has raged in the region for several years, displacing thousands of families.
Life in war-torn Yemen slowly returns to normal
SA’ADA, Yemen, 29 July 2010 – When you walk down the Al-Shara’a Al-A’am main road to the old town of Sa’ada, through the main gate of Bab Al-Yaman and pass by the ancient mosque of Emam Al-Hadi, you are immediately drawn into the past. The town, deeply rooted in history, used to be a beacon of Islamic teaching and a symbol of tolerance. From there you idle through the small but bustling ‘souq,’ or traditional market, and into the maze of the ancient mud houses where you can literally smell the scent of history.
Helping young people help themselves through peer education in Yemen
ADEN, Yemen, 18 March 2010 − It’s not easy to be young in Yemen. At least not according to Yunis, who is 20 years old and has six brothers and sisters. Yunis’s father died several years ago and his two older brothers had to support the family.
Cold weather and poor nutrition face children affected by conflict in northern Yemen
AMRAN CITY, Yemen, 4 March 2010 – Ever since the raging conflict in northern Yemen drove her from her home in Sa’ada to the city of Amran, Fatma has been praying day and night for the fighting to end. She longs to be reunited with her two married daughters who stayed behind, one of whom is a mother of 10 children.
Volunteers bring hygiene awareness to displaced communities in Yemen
HARADH, Yemen, 25 February 2010 – According to the UN refugee agency, some 250,000 civilians in Yemen have been displaced since internal fighting broke out in this country in 2004 – more than double the number recorded just six months ago.
Displaced by conflict, students crowd a village school in northern Yemen
HARADH, Yemen, 17 February 2010 – Just a few months ago, the Yarmouk school at the heart of al-Mazrak, a village in north-western Yemen catered to fewer than 200 students. Now it serves more than 2,000.
Third camp opens to accommodate displaced communities in northern Yemen
HARADH, Yemen, 20 January 2010 – Hundreds of displaced people have begun moving into a new displacement camp in al-Mazrak. This community in north-western Yemen has received tens of thousands of people in the past few months.
Displaced Yemeni children face nutrition, health and education challenges
NEW YORK, USA, 7 December 2009 – In Yemen, where more than half of all children show signs of stunting – a consequence of chronic nutritional deprivation – UNICEF is working to address the serious nutrition problems facing many children displaced by ongoing conflict in the northern part of the country.
Treating malnutrition among displaced children in Yemen
AL-MAZRAK, Yemen, 6 October 2009 – Ghonia Jaber cries and wriggles in the doctor’s lap as he takes her measurements to determine whether the 14-month-old is malnourished.
Humanitarian access still limited by conflict in Yemen
NEW YORK, USA, 23 September 2009 – Humanitarian access is still limited in northern Yemen, where over 100,000 people have been displaced by fighting between government and rebel forces.
Children need urgent assistance as conflict intensifies in Yemen
NEW YORK, USA, 9 September 2009 – As the violent conflict in northern Yemen enters its second month, UNICEF has called on all parties to allow aid agencies immediate, unconditional access to civilians caught in the fighting.
UN and UNICEF issue appeal for Yemeni families displaced by conflict
NEW YORK, USA, 2 September 2009 –UNICEF has appealed for international help for the more than 100,000 people fleeing conflict between government and rebel forces in northern Yemen.
Essential supplies being delivered to conflict-affected families in Yemen
SANA'A, Yemen, 21 August 2009 – Sa'ada – about 240 kilometres north of the capital of Sana'a – has been embroiled in conflict since 2004, but recent days have seen this escalate.
A brave young girl who defied child marriage brings change to Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 24 July 2009 – Defying child marriage was unheard of in Yemen until Nojoud Ali,10, went to court in Sana’a and asked for divorce. Ending what she described as a “nightmare married life,” the court granted her a divorce from her 30-year-old husband.
‘Child-to-Child’ programme breaks cycle of school exclusion in Yemen
TAIZ GOVERNATE, Yemen, 15 April 2009 – Saeeda Salam, 17, is a Young Facilitator at Al Yarmouk school in the Taiz Governorate of Yemen. She should be finishing high school, but she is still in grade 7. Saeeda started school late because of poverty, and is now working hard to break the cycle of exclusion and late enrolment in school, which particularly affects girls in Yemen.
Tens of thousands displaced by flooding after a rare tropical storm hits Yemen
NEW YORK, USA, 5 November 2008 – Up to 300,000 people have been affected by flooding in Yemen following a rare tropical storm there.
Yemen makes progress in girls’ education with UNICEF-supported literacy programmes
SANA’A, Yemen, 31 March 2008 – Umm Nooruddin, mother of three, is among the first generation of women in her village to get a second chance at learning to read. She is one of 35 young women in Sanhan District, on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, who are taking part in a UNICEF-supported literacy class.
Yemen at the forefront of regional debate on child abuse and neglect
SANA’A, Yemen, 20 June 2007 – The discussion about persistent forms of violence perpetrated against children in the Arab world places Yemen in a crucial position. Though challenges remain, initiatives to combat manifestations of child abuse here have proven both effective and sustainable.
‘Silent emergency’ of malnutrition threatens young lives in Yemen
TAEZ TOWN, Yemen, 11 June 2007 – ‘Taez Boy’ is 18 months old and severely undernourished. In an effort to save his life, his parents travelled a long way to the therapeutic feeding centre here in Taez Town, leaving behind another seven children, all under the age of 15.
Yemen: Nationwide immunization campaign seeks to stop polio outbreak
SANA’A, Yemen, 2 June 2005 – The Government of Yemen has organized a nationwide immunization campaign, seeking to reach 5 million children, in order to halt a recent polio outbreak.
Promoting girls' education in Yemen
SANA'A, Yemen, 15 February 2005 - Getting access to education - even a primary school education – is one of the biggest challenges facing children, especially girls, in Yemen today. Nearly half of primary school age girls do not go to school. Two out of three women in Yemen are illiterate.