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How UNICEF Helps Protect Yemen's Most Vulnerable Children

July 24, 2019

In Yemen, an Emergency Cash Transfer Project is helping the country's poorest families cover basic food, health and education needs. 


Now in its fifth year, the conflict in Yemen has devastated the country's economy, leaving parents scrambling to provide food, health care and other necessities for their children. More than 11 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The support of generous donors has helped UNICEF and partners reach Yemen's most vulnerable families with the assistance they so desperately need to survive. 

The war in Yemen has devastated the country's economy and left parents scrambling to provide food and other necessities for their children

Between June 16 and July 15, nearly 9 million people across Yemen received emergency cash assistance in the fifth payment cycle by UNICEF to help cover their basic nutrition, health and education needs. Some 1.5 million of Yemen's poorest families were given, on average, US$30 paid in Yemeni Rial, their quarterly payment of the Yemen Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) Project launched in August 2017.

Saud Humadi, mother of five, holds her severely malnourished baby, Saeed, in a camp for internally displaced persons in Lahj governorate, southern Yemen, 2019. Intensive fighting forced the family to flee their home in Taiz and hastened their slide into ever deepening poverty. © UNICEF/UN0320193/Baholis

"With the money I get from the project, I buy wheat, sugar, oil and other food stuffs," says Fatima Hussain Al-Tayari, a 55-year-old widow and mother of five who lives on the outskirts of Yemen's capital, Sana'a. "Although the amount is not big, it still covers living and food expenses. We eagerly wait this amount of money just like we wait for lunch and dinner."

With the money I get from the project, I buy wheat, sugar, oil and other food stuffs. — Fatima Hussain Al-Tayari, mother of five

The ECT project is funded by the World Bank through the International Development Association; funds from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development through the World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund; and with co-financing by the U.S. State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.  

A child living in Yemen's Al-Meshqafah camp plays while carrying water home from UNICEF-supported tanks in 2019. © UNICEF/UN0320185/Baholis 

Most families in Yemen have depleted their financial resources. To survive, many have been forced to resort to early marriage and child labor. The emergency cash assistance helps families stay alive, but the needs are enormous and much more needs to be done.

Your sustained support helps UNICEF provide the services and protection children need to survive

Children in Yemen didn't start the war, but they are paying the highest price. Thank you for your generous contribution. With your sustained support, UNICEF can continue providing the services and protection vulnerable children need to survive and thrive. 

Please make your first monthly gift to help UNICEF meet the urgent needs of children growing up in overwhelmingly challenging circumstances.



Top photo: This boy lives in Al-Meshqafah camp for internally displaced people in Lahj governorate, southern Yemen. Approximately 1.5 million of the country's poorest families receive help paying for food and living expenses through the Yemen Emergency Cash Transfer Project. © UNICEF/UN0320187/Baholis