A boy gets treatment during a UNICEF-supported health screening campaign in Marib, Yemen

Yemen Crisis

A look at UNICEF's impact for children in Yemen.

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Yemen is in the midst of a major humanitarian crisis — one of the world's worst — due to prolonged conflict, a deteriorating economy and weakened social services. 

The war in Yemen has had disastrous consequences for the country. Violence continues to kill or main children.

Some 4.3 million are displaced within the country, including 1.8 children. Poor access to safe water and poor sanitation have magnified health risks. Children remain vulnerable to malnutrition, cholera and death from common infections.

How is UNICEF responding to the crisis in Yemen?

UNICEF is actively working to bring relief to children and families in Yemen, focusing on those who are suffering the most. UNICEF's strategy in the country is to provide direct, lifesaving assistance while also supporting long-term development goals, by helping to strengthen health and other systems and building community resilience. 

UNICEF programs and interventions in Yemen seek to:

  • improve access to safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene and adequate sanitation
  • expand learning opportunities to children whose schooling has been disrupted by the war
  • identify and treat children with severe acute malnutrition
  • immunize children against vaccine-preventable diseases
  • help more children and women access primary health care
  • provide psychosocial support to children who have experienced trauma and loss
  • strengthen gender-based violence prevention and response

Stories from Yemen

Here are a few stories about the people UNICEF has reached through its programming:

Empowering youth with life skills training

Mohammed, 14, attends a life skills training program in Yemen
Mohammed, 14, participated in a UNICEF-supported training program, which he says helped him improve his public speaking, communication and negotation skills. "I recently used them at home to mediate a family dispute," he says. © UNICEF/UN0636684/ALfilastini

Life skills training programs supported by UNICEF and partners have reached 1,300 young people, many of them teenagers who had to drop out of school when their families could no longer afford to send them. The program is designed to be preparation for vocational training, where children can learn relevant job skills to enter the workforce.  The program is also an alternative for young girls who are at risk of early marriage and boys who are at risk of being recruited into armed groups.

Mohammed, 14, had to drop out of school in the fifth grade to help support his family. In the life skills program, he’s learned problem-solving and public speaking. “I’ve also learned communication and negotiation skills," he said. "I want to learn solar panel maintenance, and I think these skills will help me succeed." 

Lifesaving therapeutic food treats children with severe acute malnutrition

A child suffering from severe acute malnutrition is fed ready-to-use-therapeutic food (RUTF) at a health facility in Yemen
UNICEF supports health centers across Yemen by supplying ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. © UNICEF/UN0722231/ALfilastini


To help address Yemen's malnutrition crisis, UNICEF provides Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a nutrient-rich peanut paste and lifesaving treatment for children under age 5 who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition, or wasting disease.

The paste is made from peanuts, powdered milk, vegetable oil and vitamins and minerals. It’s digestible, easy to distribute and each packet has 500 calories. UNICEF procures 80 percent of the RUTF distributed worldwide and has sent 7,500 cartons of this supply to treat 7,500 children under five in Yemen.

UNICEF-supported mobile teams deliver lifesaving nutrition services to children

Three children eat a meal with their family inside of Al-Jufainah camp, Marib, Yemen.
Maymouna, Hilalah and Ghosoon have been living in Al-Jufainah camp in Yemen for the past five years. Since being forced to relocate to the camp, their family has been struggling to secure enough food for all their children. "We are threatened by the rain and the spread of diseases. We suffer from deprivation of everything. We have lost all means of livelihood,” their father Waleed, 25, says about life in the camp. © UNICEF/UN0609116/Alhamdani

Millions of the families who are internally displaced in Yemen face harsh living conditions and often go without enough food to feed their children. Because of the war, Waleed Al-Ahdal, 25, and his family were forced to relocate to a camp in Al-Jufainah, the largest camp in the country with 9,000 families. Life conditions became extremely difficult once the family relocated to the camp. "We are facing a difficult reality. I struggle to provide the basics for my family. All I can get is temporary daily work. Because of that, I am burdened with debts, and we find ourselves unable to afford three meals a day," Waleed said.

His youngest daughter Ghosson, 2, was diagnosed with severe acute malnutrition. Fortunately, she was able to regain her health with support from a UNICEF-supported treatment center after being diagnosed by a mobile health care team. Mobile teams visit the camp regularly and deliver essential services, including malnutrition screening and referral to external treatment centers when necessary.

Read more about UNICEF-supported mobile teams here.

Here are a few highlights of UNICEF’s work in 2022:

  • Providing treatment for over 260,000 children with severe acute malnutrition, working in over 4,000 health facilities. Scaled treatment and prevention of malnutrition with mobile teams and outpatient programs
  • Distributing emergency cash transfers to nearly 1.5 million families every quarter, supporting around nine million people
  • Providing vaccination against polio and measles to more than 1.6 million children
  • Supplying safe drinking water to 4.7 million people
  • Offering public health care services to over 1.6 million people living in remote rural areas

How to help the children in Yemen

The needs of children in Yemen are some of the greatest in the world. Support UNICEF's efforts in delivering critical nutrition, health care, protection and education to vulnerable children and families in Yemen. Donate today.

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TOP PHOTO: Five-year-old Idrees receives treatment from health volunteers during a UNICEF-supported screening campaign implemented in Marib, Yemen.
© UNICEF/UN0503515/Alhamdani

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