Yemen is one of the chronically under developed countries facing the probably world's largest, most complex humanitarian crises. Almost the entire country (22.2 million people) needs humanitarian assistance. Conflict has caused the internal displacement of 2 million people, left 1 million public sector workers without pay for a year, and undermined access to ports and airports, obstructing essential humanitarian and commercial deliveries. Coping mechanisms are becoming desperate, with increased household borrowing. The recent outbreaks of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AVVID )/cholera, symptoms of collapsing public systems, has now reached almost over one million cases. On top of this, the diphtheria outbreak in early 2018 has now reached over 1,200 cases. In addition, 16 million people lack access to safe waters Children are the primary victims of this conflict: more than 1,100 were verified as killed or maimed in the last year alone. The consequences of the war threaten millions more, due to growing food insecurity, poor water and sanitation, and the spread of preventable diseases and 394,000 children under 5 currently suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). The damage and closure of schools and health facilities threaten children's access to education and health services for years to come.
UNICEF’s humanitarian operations in Yemen are decentralized, with five field offices managing interventions locally, with implementing partners. Considering the collapse of public services, UNICEF improves access to primary healthcare by providing supplies, covering operational costs, as well as monitoring and responding to communicable disease outbreaks. Scale-up of community management of malnutrition remains essential, especially in hard-to-reach areas. UNICEF's WASH strategy is integrated with nutrition and food security targeting immediate needs and strengthening long-term resilience of communities. UNICEF ensures uninterrupted access to safe water through rehabilitation works, and support for sustainable local management of water systems. The integrated WASH, health and C4D AWD/cholera prevention/response plan focuses on high-risk AWD areas, diarrhea treatment, chlorination of water sources, rehabilitation of waste water systems and hygiene awareness. In child protection, UNICEF targets the most vulnerable children with interventions including victim assistance, family tracing/reunification, documentation of child rights violations, mine risk awareness and psychosocial support (PSS). UNICEF is also scaling up its education response in 2018 and aims to provide a conducive environment to avoid further student dropouts and retention of out-of-school children in education by rehabilitating damaged schools, establishing temporary safe learning spaces and providing learning/pedagogical kits, PSS and peace-building education.
Results from 2017
As of 31 December, UNICEF had US$ 245.2 million funds available for its US$ 339 million appeal (72 per cent funded). Funding included US$49.3 million towards AWD/cholera response. UNICEF responded immediately through an integrated health, nutrition, WASH and C4D plan. Nearly 6 million people gained access to safe drinking water, 11.5 million benefitted from water treatment, and 18.4 million people participated in awareness and behavior change activities. UNICEF 's health and nutrition response included supply and operational support to health facilities, which enabled 3,069 health facilities to stay open this year. This support was crucial to vaccinate 4.8 million children against polio, and delivering healthcare to almost 596,000 pregnant and lactating women. Nearly 227,000 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) were treated, but needs continued to outstrip the response. UNICEF was able to verify and document 88 per cent of all protection cases through the Monitoring and Reporting Mechanisms and provided psychosocial support to over 519,400 children in child-friendly spaces. Nearly 1.7 million people accessed mine risk awareness education. Despite the delay to the 2017/18 school year, UNICEF distributed 509,500 school bags, opened safe learning spaces benefitting 552,700 children and provided psychosocial support in schools to over 431,100 students.