Access to water continues to be jeopardized for millions of children in war-torn Yemen

More than 5,000 children cut off from drinking water as critical facility attacked for the third time

24 July 2018

Attributable to Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director in the Middle East and North Africa

AMMAN, 24 July 2018 - “UNICEF deplores in the strongest terms yet another attack on vital and lifesaving water systems in Yemen.

“A large water facility in Sa’ada, northwest of the country, came under attack this week. This is the third such attack on the same facility. More than half of the project is now damaged, cutting off 10,500 people from safe drinking water.

“Continuous attacks on water systems in Yemen are cutting off children and their families from water; increasing the likelihood of water-borne diseases spreading in the war-torn country.  

 “For families in Yemen, these crumbling basic services, are a matter of life and death. Access to these services is about the sheer survival of boys and girls in Yemen. If they continue to come under attack, more lives- among them many children- will be lost, unnecessarily”.

“Attacks on civilian infrastructure including water systems are a violation of international humanitarian law. UNICEF calls, once again, on parties to the conflict wherever they are in Yemen and those who have influence over them, to stop all attacks and military activity on or near civilian infrastructure including water systems and facilities, schools, hospitals and clinics”.


Notes to Editors

  • The attack on the water project in the Nushour area in the Sa’ada governorate, immediately disabled the system and damaged the solar power system, the pump and the storage tank. 
  • In March 2018, the Nushour water project was attacked twice in one week causing damage estimated at US$ 20,000. UNICEF repaired this damage. The current damage to the water system is estimated at US$ 300,000.
  • The conflict has already run down the water and sanitation system in Yemen leaving 8.6 million children without regular access to safe water and at risk of water borne diseases, including cholera and acute watery darrhoea.

Media contacts

Juliette Touma
Regional Chief of Advocacy and Communications
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Tel: 00962798674628
Lina Elkurd
Communication Officer
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Tel: 00962791096644


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