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UNICEF Yemen/2016/Al-Zikri
© UNICEF Yemen/2016/Al-Zikri

The Situation

Since the escalation of the armed conflict in Yemen on 26 March 2015, the country has been facing a massive humanitarian crisis fuelled by widespread insecurity, large-scale displacement, chronic food shortages and the collapse of the social services, lack of access to safe water on top of endemic poverty.

Even before the conflict, the nutrition situation in Yemen was dire with the national General Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate at 16 per cent for children under 5 and Severe Acute malnutrition (SAM) at 5.2 per cent, both above emergency level; stunting rate pre-conflict stood at 47 per cent.

1.5 million Children are malnourished, 370,000 them severely acutely malnourished.

Food shortages and poor access to markets, reduced access to healthcare and sanitation, reduced income options and disruption of livelihood opportunities are the main causes of the spiralling food insecurity and malnutrition. The scarcity of fuel, electricity, gas, water and other services and utilities is further exacerbating the situation.

Proportionally, more children are expected to face risk of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) if services are not adequately secured to prevent Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) or treat it as soon as it occurs.

UNICEF in Action

UNICEF continues to scale up its response in treatment and surveillance of malnutrition;

  • 155,000 children under 5 treated for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) as of September 2016
  • 4.5 million children under 5 given vitamin supplements
  • Currently, there are 1,910 OTPs functioning across the country representing 42 per cent geographic coverage, while only 700 SFPs representing 17 per cent geographic coverage.
  • 90 per cent of the nutrition services are currently delivered through the government counterparts and only 10 per cent through NGOs.

Nutrition scale-up plan

UNICEF’s strategy will focus on the following:

  • A joint UNICEF-WFP scale up plan will be implemented; where a gap in MAM is spotted, UNICEF will step in as provider of last resort for capacity development and supplies needed for the MAM programme.
  • Nutrition interventions are currently integrated in the outreach campaigns on a quarterly basis (screening and referral of acute malnutrition cases, Fersoline and folic acid (FF) for pregnant and lactating women (PLWs), deworming and Vitamin A every six months for under 5 children, and Zinc and ORS for diarrheal diseases.
  • The focus will be on delivering services through the fixed health facilities, while mobile modalities will only be activated if the fixed structure have limitations, such as third level villages were populations have limited access to health facilities, and /or in locations where health facilities have shut down. Mobile modalities are also suitable for temporary deployments to IDPs sites.
  • Procure and preposition all required supplies at the subnational level (see annex 1 for supply and funding need identified as per table 1 and 2). MAM supplies will be added after discussion with WFP.
  • 2,800 health workers will be trained on CMAM, using the comprehensive CMAM training package.
  • 5000 CHVs to be trained on the community component of CMAM and C4D (module 1 of the integrated package).
  • Surveillance system will be strengthened jointly with WHO.



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