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News note

Government of Japan donates $6.6 million to UNICEF to address grave humanitarian situation amongst Yemen’s children

SANA’A, 5 March 2012 - Humanitarian efforts for children in Yemen have received a critical boost as the Government of Japan continues its support to address the grave situation in the country with a grant of US$ 6.6 million to UNICEF. This grant is part of an overall US$22.6 million support to Yemen’s consolidated humanitarian appeal.

The funds will be used to:

  • Prevent excess mortality and improve the nutritional status of children, pregnant women and lactating mothers in high-risk governorates and conflict regions. This will include the provision of therapeutic food and micronutrient supplies amongst others
  • Mitigate the impact of violent conflict and displacement on the health status of children and families through the provision of lifesaving WASH assistance to affected areas
  • Enhance access to essential and critical health services especially in conflict-affected communities
  • Protect internally displaced persons, especially children, in the conflict-affected communities from the dangers and threats of mines/UXOs

Announcing the contribution at the End Note Signing Ceremony held in Yemen’s capital Sana’a on 3 March 2012, His Excellency Mitsunori Namba, Ambassador of Japan to Yemen, underlined the continued commitment of his country to the wellbeing of the people of Yemen, in particular the children, who constitute half of the nation’s population.

“I sincerely hope that Japan’s contribution will support extensively the continued efforts by UNICEF, the Government of Yemen and implementing partners in addressing the complex humanitarian situation of children in Yemen,” Ambassador Namba said.

Thanking the Government of Japan for its continued support, UNICEF Representative in Yemen Geert Cappelaere stressed the grave and deteriorating situation of the country’s children and expressed gratitude to the Government of Japan for the timely contribution, essential to address the immediate humanitarian needs of these children.

“Yemen is in urgent need of humanitarian aid to combat multiple emergencies,” Cappelaere said.  “The situation is dire with 750,000 children under the age of five suffering from acute malnutrition, an alarming outbreak of measles in recent months with an estimated 3600 confirmed cases and over 100 children confirmed dead, coupled with acute water diarrhea in several parts of the country threatening the lives of hundreds of thousands of children. This contribution could not have been more timely,” Mr. Cappelaere concluded.

Some of the funds have already been committed to support a nationwide measles, Vitamin A and polio campaign targeting all children under the age of ten, which will be launched on 10 March.

Facts:   Yemen is an underdeveloped country, with little or no chance of reaching any of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Half of the population lives on less than 2 US$/day. Yemen has one of the highest rates of deaths among children under five in the Middle East and North Africa Region, at 77 per 1,000 live births. Every year 69,000 children die before their fifth birthday.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For further information, please contact:
Ms. Alison Parker, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Sana’a –
Cell: +967-712-223-001

Mr Mohammed Al Asaadi, Communication Officer, UNICEF Sana’a –
Cell +967 -711-760-002




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