Yemen, in the Middle East, is experiencing the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Today, more than 11 million children - nearly half the entire population of Australia - are in dire need of food, medical treatment, education, water and sanitation. UNICEF is one of the few international aid agencies working in Yemen to get these millions of children and their families the humanitarian support they so urgently require. Every day our teams on the ground are delivering the essentials like medicine, food, clean water to thousands of Yemeni children. But we still have so much more to do, and we need your help.
Despite our best efforts, life is continuing to get worse for children in Yemen. In August, the three-year-old civil war sank to an all-time low when children were deliberately targeted in attacks by warring parties.
After 21 children were killed in the Yemen conflict in July, another 55 were reportedly killed within a fortnight in August. On the 23rd of August, 26 children were killed in attacks in the north of the country while trying to escape missiles raining down on them. Only two weeks earlier, 29 school boys were reported killed when an airstrike hit their bus. They were children having fun, on their way home from a school trip.
“Today it is fair to say that Yemen is one
of the worst places on earth to be a child.”
An injured girl is treated at Althawra Hospital in Hodeidah, Yemen © UNICEF/UN0216979/Ayyashi
What you need to know:
What is UNICEF doing?
UNICEF is racing to help as many children as we can, as quickly as possible. We are providing children caught in Yemen’s violent conflict with vaccines, clean water, sanitation facilities, emergency food, medicine and much needed medical kits. We’re also working hard to keep children in school by giving incentives to more than 143,000 teachers who have not been paid for over two years and training teachers in how to counsel children whose lives have been ripped apart by war.
How bad is it?
Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. 22 million people, more than half of them children, need humanitarian aid. Since 2015, 2,400 girls and boys have been killed and 3,600 have been injured. Nowhere is safe for children. War has forced more than half of the country’s health facilities to close due to being damaged or not having staff to operate them. Nearly two million children are out of school.
“This war on Yemen is sadly, a war on children.”
The ripple effect of war on children:
Not only are Yemeni children being increasingly targeted in this war, they also bear the indirect consequences of conflict.
One in three children in Yemen are on the brink of famine. An estimated 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished - that includes 400,000 children under five who are fighting for their lives and suffering severe acute malnutrition.
Water and sanitation
Sadly, continuous attacks on infrastructure, such as water systems, are a feature of this war. As a result, 8.6 million children have been cut off from regular access to safe water and sanitation facilities, making them far more vulnerable to diseases like cholera.
An estimated 2,500 schools have been destroyed, damaged or used for military purposes since the war began. Half a million children have also dropped out of school. The futures of another 4.5 million children hang in the balance as unpaid teachers stop showing up to school.
“For families in Yemen, these crumbling basic
services are a matter of life and death. If they
continue to come under attack, more lives —
among them many children — will be lost.”
UNICEF is one of the only international agencies on the ground in Yemen and our teams are working hard to save the lives of children. But we urgently need your help.
- $63 can deliver 10,000 water purification tablets, providing up to 50,000 litres of safe drinking water
- $120 can provide three emergency first aid kits to areas under violent attack
- $163 can get 300 sachets of therapeutic food for severely malnourished children