Map of Yemen
UNICEF photo: UNICEF’s nutrition specialist meets a three year old girl suffering from severe malnutrition. © UNICEF/Yemen/2013/Kate Rose UNICEF’s nutrition specialist meets a three year old girl suffering from severe malnutrition.


Updated January 2014

In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children with severe acute malnutrition are treated


people in humanitarian situations access water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene

1 million

children are provided with safe access to community spaces for socializing, playing and learning life skills

2014 Requirements: US$65,000,000

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Total affected population: 14.7 million
Total affected children (under 18): 6.9 million

Total people to be reached in 2014: 3 million
Total children to be reached in 2014: 2.8 million

Yemen’s high rates of malnutrition remain alarming. Over one million Yemeni girls and boys under 5 suffer from acute malnutrition, including 279,000 who suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).1 Yemeni children are facing a consistently poor humanitarian situation, which continues to be exacerbated by political instability, multiple localized conflicts and chronic underdevelopment. Over half of Yemen’s population is affected: 13 million people do not have access to safe water and sanitation, over 300,000 are internally displaced, and children are facing multiple protection risks.2 Thousands of children from Yemen and the Horn of Africa are victims of trafficking and are subject to various abuses. In 2013, 205 children were killed or maimed, including 51 victims of landmines and improvised explosive devices. Women and children are at a higher risk of disease outbreaks due to the breakdown of health services and poor water and sanitation, particularly in rural communities.3 Ongoing localized fighting has denied tens of thousands of children access to schools. In affected districts, the dropout rate among children is over 20 per cent, and is particularly high among girls. Troubling trends related to child labour and child marriage are also ongoing concerns.4

Humanitarian strategy

2014 programme targets


  • 1 million children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months screened for malnutrition
  • 156,000 children with SAM treated


  • 800,000 children 6 to 59 months in humanitarian situations vaccinated against measles


  • 200,000 people in humanitarian situations accessing water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 20,000 people in humanitarian situations using appropriate sanitation facilities

Child protection

  • 1 million children provided with safe access to community spaces for socialization, play and learning life skills


  • 57,000 children benefit from improved and safe physical learning environment and peace-building education activities

In 2014, UNICEF will continue its efforts to save lives in conflict-affected governorates and in areas still experiencing high levels of vulnerability and displacement. UNICEF will sustain its leadership of the nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education clusters and child protection area of responsibility. Humanitarian interventions will be implemented alongside early recovery and community resilience-building efforts. In districts with critically high levels of malnutrition, UNICEF will address the underlying causes of malnutrition and will work to prevent additional mortality. UNICEF will apply an integrated strategy that combines high impact interventions in health, including immunization against childhood killer diseases and WASH promotion, with community management of acute malnutrition. UNICEF will continue to support and build the Government’s capacity to provide sustainable, gender sensitive and equitable services, build systems and support preparedness. This work will also address child trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence, as well as monitoring and responding to grave violations of child rights, using a community-based approach through child protection networks, and including mine risk education and ending child recruitment into armed forces. In education, support will focus on increasing access to conflict sensitive education opportunities by rehabilitating destroyed schools and supporting reinsertion programmes for children who have dropped out of school. To strengthen community resilience, educators will be trained on peace-building and conflict management.

Results from 2013

UNICEF appealed for US$81,583,795 for 2013, and as of the end of October 2013, a total of US$42,771,672, or 52 per cent of requirements, had been received in contributions. UNICEF’s humanitarian programme focused on building national capacity and delivering programmes supported by evidence. UNICEF continued to promote an integrated approach to malnutrition with a strong community component. Five Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions (SMART) nutrition surveys were conducted. Centres providing nutrition interventions were expanded to reach 125,000 children. UNICEF supported the training of 1,528 health and 1,200 community volunteers, predominantly women. Seventy-three per cent of 800,000 targeted children were vaccinated, and as activities accelerate, coverage is expected to reach 85 per cent by the end of 2013. Water supplies reached 246,000 people in seven governorates, while construction and rehabilitation of water systems reached over 54,000 people. WASH hygiene kits were distributed to 250,000 people, while 95,000 have been supported with improved sanitation and hygiene promotion. Child-friendly spaces supported at least 278,000 boys and 211,000 girls, while at least 397,000 people were reached with mine risk education. Of the 596 schools affected by conflict, 286 have been rehabilitated, resulting in improved access for over 90,000 children. Working with the Ministry of Education, UNICEF also facilitated access to education for 150,000 disadvantaged children through back-to-school campaigns. A further 4,000 out-of-school children were provided with basic education through non-formal education programmes.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$65,000,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable children in 2014. Without additional funding at such a critical time in Yemen, UNICEF and its partners will be unable to contribute to meeting the needs of Yemen’s children in a meaningful way. The cluster coordination specific requirements are embedded in each of the sectors.

1 As reported by the nutrition cluster.
2 As reported by the WASH cluster, and noted in United Nations, ‘Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan 2014’ (draft).
3 Reported by UNICEF.
4 Reported by the Ministry of Education, Education Survey.