• Since the escalation of violence in Al Hudaydah in June, an estimated 600,000 people have fled the governorate. Although less than in recent months, fighting continues in and around Al Hudaydah city and humanitarian operations remain challenging due to the security and operational environment. The peace talks held in Sweden in December 2018 resulted in a cessation of hostilities for Al Hudaydah city. Fighting has put children in particular at risk, notably children in hospitals or children in need of immediate medical assistance, and who may be dependent on delivery of lifesaving supplies and water.
• Lack of payment continues for many of Yemen’s civil servants, resulting in reduced and closure of basic services. An estimated 50 per cent of health facilities are closed, meaning families have limited access to medical services. Lack of teacher’s salaries affects more than 3.7 million children in the country who are unable to attend school and are therefore at higher risk of child protection risks such as forced recruitment or marriage.
• According to the latest IPC analysis about 15.9 million people (53 per cent) of the population are analysed to be severely food insecure and thus are at higher risk of malnutrition. The current levels of food insecurity lead to negative coping strategies among families such as sending children to beg or selling household assets.
• Since the onset of the second wave of Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD)/cholera outbreak on 27 April 2017, the cumulative total of suspected cholera cases until end of December 2018 has reached over 1.3 million with 2,732 associated deaths (0.20 per cent case fatality rate) across the country. This case fatality rate is 0.2 per cent lower than as at 31 December 2017.
For the first time in Yemen, Oral Cholera Vaccination campaigns were rolled out in high risk districts in Aden, Ibb and Al Hudaydah. During these campaigns at least 707,000 people received at least one round of the vaccinations.
• In 2018, the Country Task Force verified 1,321 incidents of grave violations against children.
The majority of the incidents took place in Al Hudaydah governorate followed by Taizz and Hajjah.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Almost four years of conflict, Yemen faces one of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The escalation of conflict and violence has led to economic collapse, a destruction of basic services, pushed more families into poverty and into famine. With no end in sight to the conflict, the economic crisis, disease and displacement, the situation of Yemeni children and families is set to worsen, with an anticipated 24 million people (80 per cent of the population) in need of humanitarian assistance and protection and an estimated 3.9 million people who have been displaced since the conflict.1 The country is currently facing one of the largest food crisis in the world, rendering food and nutritional support one of the main humanitarian priorities. Going into the new year, 18 million people are food insecure, including 8.4 million who suffer from extreme hunger. Seven million Yemeni’s are malnourished, including almost two million children and more than one million pregnant and lactating women.2 This builds on the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis publicized in December 2018, which noted that 17 per cent of the population (about 5 million people) analyzed will be in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency) and 36 per cent (about 10.8 million people) will be in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). In terms of severity, the worst affected areas are in Al Hudaydah, Amran, Hajjah, Taiz and Saada Governorates.
UNICEF and other humanitarian actors are making every effort to avoid famine and increase assistance. To this end, UNICEF has accelerated the creation of specialized programmes to prevent and treat severe acute malnutrition in children in existing health facilities and using Mobile Teams to access hard-to-reach areas.
UNICEF also provides essential supplies including for example ready to use therapeutic foods, antibiotics and therapeutic milk.
Humanitarian leadership and coordination
UNICEF continues to work in coordination with the Yemen Humanitarian Country Team (YHCT), leading the WASH, education and nutrition clusters and the child protection sub-cluster, and is an active member of the health cluster. Sub-national level clusters for WASH, child protection and nutrition are functional in Sa’ada, Sana’a, Al Hudaydah, Aden and Ibb, and education sub-national clusters are active in Aden, Ibb and Al Hudaydah. In addition, UNICEF leads humanitarian hubs in Ibb and Sa’ada. UNICEF monitors programme implementation through field staff – where access allows – or through a third-party monitoring partner.
UNFPA, supported by WFP and UNICEF, is leading an inter-agency Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) in Yemen together with key partners. The RRM ensures timely response to highly vulnerable populations in the most affected governorates of Aden, Abyan, Al Hudaydah, Lahj and Hajjah. The UNFPA-led inter-agency RRM assistance aims to reach quickly the affected population at scale through kits distribution