• Armed conflict continues with over 30 active frontlines. 4 million people have been displaced across Yemen since the start of the conflict, including 375,000 displaced in 2019. UNICEF provided Rapid Response Mechanism kits to 1.2 million IDPs to meet their most critical immediate needs. 21,275 conflict-affected children received child protection services.
• In 2019, 860,996 Acute Watery Disease (AWD) or suspected cholera cases were identified and 1,023 associated deaths were recorded (0.12% fatality rate). UNICEF supported 489 Oral Rehydration Centres and 79 Diarrhea Treatment Centres to treat over 330,000 AWD/suspected cholera suspected cases (38% of caseload). Around 7.3 million people learned key practices to prevent cholera, by community volunteers.
• Almost 4 million children under five were screened for malnutrition in 2019 and 310,901 children U5 with Severe Acute Malnutrition (87% of caseload) admitted for treatment.
• In 2019, nearly 7.2 million internally displaced people and people from host communities, including 3.2 million children, were able to drink safe water with UNICEF's support.
• To ensure education access for children across Yemen, 128,216 teachers and other education staff in 11 governorates and 564 temporary teachers in Aden received incentives in 2019.
Funding Overview and Partnerships
UNICEF appealed for $536 million for the 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC), which is aligned to the 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan. In 2019, UNICEF received $304 million towards the HAC from 45 public and private sector donors. In addition, UNICEF received $168 million from other allocations including carry-forward from 2018.
UNICEF wishes to express its deep gratitude to all donors for their generosity, which made the 2019 response possible. Nevertheless, a funding gap of $63 million (12%) remained by end year with child protection the most underfunded. Despite this gap, UNICEF reached or exceeded most child protection targets—this is due to lower than planned costs, as well as relatively modest targets set in light of anticipated access and implementation challenges.
As part of continuing efforts to strengthen risk prevention and management measures, UNICEF conducted an audit of our operations between January 2017 and March 2019. It is now actively implementing a series of risk mitigation measures as we continue to deliver for children in a highly challenging and complex environment.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
In 2019, Yemen remained one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world. Nearly 250,000 Yemeni people have died since 2015, including 100,000 people as a direct result of hostilities and 130,000 from hunger and diseases. Despite the 2018 Stockholm Agreement, armed conflict continued across the country along more than 34 war frontlines.
4 million people have been displaced since the beginning of the conflict, including 375,000 in 2019. Approximately 7.4 million people need services to treat or prevent malnutrition; of them, 3.2 million, including 2 million children under five (U5) need treatment for acute malnutrition. At least 2 million children are out of school. Acute Watery Disease (AWD)/suspected cholera is widespread in Yemen. In 2019, there were 860,996 AWD/suspected cholera cases and 1,023 associated deaths, with 0.12% of the case fatality rate (CFR), with an increase of 490,788 suspected cases and 518 associated deaths from 2018. However, CFR has decreased from 0.14 in 2018 to 0.12 in 2019.
In 2019, northern Yemen experienced acute fuel and gas shortages due to new government regulations on commercial fuel and imports. The fuel crisis impacted transportation, pumping of drinking water and power to sanitation systems and increased the overall cost of living putting additional financial burden at the household level.
Humanitarian access continues to be challenging due to bureaucratic requirements to access project sites and deliver humanitarian responses. The operating environment in Yemen has deteriorated rapidly, resulting in impediments to respond in accordance with core humanitarian principles to the most vulnerable people—for example an attack on civilian infrastructure in Al Dhale'e on 21-22 December, where three international humanitarian organizations operating.
In November, the National Authority for the Management and Cooperation of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Response (NAMCHA) was dissolved and replaced with the Supreme Council for Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and International Cooperation (SCMCHA). This newly formed body has assumed responsibility for overseeing humanitarian and development programmes and operations. Since its establishment, the operating environment in Yemen has become increasingly more constrained. Due to the new demands of SCMCHA communicated through Decree 201—on top of over 200 directives already issued by the authorities—the humanitarian community faces increased constraints which are challenging core humanitarian principles. UNICEF, together with other UN agencies, continues its dialogue with counterparts in order to continue serving the children and people of Yemen.