UNICEF Yemen Humanitarian Situation Report: January - December 2021 [EN/AR]



  • From January to December 2021, UNICEF reached a total of 7,564,830 (3,799,062 male, 3,765,768 female) children under 5 years through malnutrition screening. Out of these, 346,311 (139,651 male, 183,419 female) children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) were identified and admitted in Outpatient Treatment Programmes (OTPs).

  • UNICEF provided access to safe and sustained drinking water to 8.8 million people (5.3 million children) through a wide spectrum of activities including water trucking, the installation of water distribution points, and the expansion of water supply systems to IDP camps.

  • A total of 3,800,313 children under five years were vaccinated against polio, 11,607 children against measles and 4,021,652 children received vitamin A supplements.

  • In 2021, gender-based violence (GBV) risk mitigation activities reached 5,321,017 women, girls, and children through different interventions in collaboration with UNICEF’s Education, Communication for Development (C4D), Health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes.

  • As of 31 December 2021, UNICEF had an overall funding gap of $227.7 million, that is 45 per cent of the total 2021 appeal. Funding is urgently needed for 2022 action plan to continue UNICEF’s lifesaving programmatic work.

Situation in Numbers
(OCHA, 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview)

11.3 million children in need of humanitarian assistance

20.7 million people in need
(OCHA, 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan)

2 million children internally displaced (IDPs)
(UNICEF, 2021 Yemen Humanitarian Action for Children)

Funding Overview and Partnerships

The Yemen Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) initially aligned to the 2020 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) and appealed for $ 576.9 million in 2021. The HAC was revised and approved in May 2021 and to align with the 2021 YHRP and appealed for $508.8 million. UNICEF’s humanitarian programmes are planned for nationwide reach targeting populations in areas with the most acute needs, and the appeal integrated the COVID-19 response into programmes planned within the HAC. As of 30 December 2021, $163 million has been received. A total of $94.4 million was carried forward from 2020, with an additional $23.7 million received from other contributions. This makes a total of $281.1 million funds mobilized against the 2021 HAC.

UNICEF wishes to express its deep gratitude to all donors for their generous contributions, which made the 2021 response possible. Nevertheless, a funding gap of $227.7 million, or 45 per cent of the total amount required to continue UNICEF’s life-saving work in Yemen, remained at the end of the year. Without sufficient funding UNICEF and its partners will be unable to effectively continue to address the needs of the most vulnerable children and their families, who are suffering from the devastating impacts of the protracted conflict and health and economic consequences of the COVID19 pandemic.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Seven years into the conflict, 20.7 million people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance. Over 50 districts across Yemen were directly affected by active frontlines, and escalated hostilities impacted the lives of millions of Yemenis, exacerbating the challenging humanitarian situation. In 2021 the population was vulnerable to diseases outbreaks, natural disasters, and socio-political and economic contexts. Since the beginning of the conflict, over four million people have been internally displaced, including two million children, among which 119,364 individuals (19,894 families) newly displaced in 2021. Due to the escalation of the conflict, Ma’rib governorate, with more than 13,075 families (78,450 people) displaced, had the highest number of IDPs according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Children continued to be affected by multiple deprivations, such as constrained access to social services, violence, abuse, exploitation, recruitment by armed forces and child marriage. Over 2.25 million children 0-59 months suffered from acute malnutrition, and in some areas one child in four is acutely malnourished. During the first half of the year, the access of 5.8 million children to learning opportunities was disrupted due to armed conflicts and the nationwide COVID-19 school closure. It is estimated that two million children remain out of school in Yemen In the last quarter of 2021, an outbreak of Vaccine Derived Polio Viruses type-2 (cVDPV2) was reported in the governorates of Taiz (2), Marib (1), Aden (1) and Sa’ada (2). This added to the already existing outbreak of Vaccine Derived Polio Viruses type-1 (cVDPV1) cases, for which the epicenter of the outbreak was in Sa’ada governorate, where 34 out of 35 cases in the country have been reported since 2019.

From January to September 2021, the UN Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting (CTFMR) documented 2,038 incidents of grave violations against children, 92 per cent of which were verified. The majority of verified violations pertained to denials of humanitarian access (1,562) followed by child casualties (386), including 70 children killed (15 girls and 55 boys) and 316 children maimed (71 girls and 245 boys), by various parties to the conflict. The majority of the child casualty incidents occurred in the governorates of Taizz (89), Al Hodeidah (88), Ma’rib (39) and Al Dhale’e (38). There were also 51 cases of child recruitment and use by armed forces and armed groups (1 girl and 50 boys) as well as seven cases of rape and sexual violence (3 girls and 4 boys) and 18 cases of abduction and arbitrary detention (11 girls and 7 boys). A total of 14 attacks on schools (9) and hospitals (5) were also verified.

A total number of 26,981 AWD/cholera suspected cases and 29 associated deaths were reported in 2021, with a 0.03 per cent case fatality rate (CFR). While a significant decrease in the number of cases compared to 2020 was observed (230,540 suspected cases and 84 associated deaths), an increase in the number of cholera cases was recorded in the Sana’a hub in January 2021, with 19 districts presenting the highest number of cases, and in August 2021, Al-Tuhayta district in Al Hodeidah reported an increase in AWD cases, especially in IDP camps.

As of 27 December 2021, a total of 10,125 COVID-19 cases were reported as officially confirmed, with 1,984 associated deaths and a 19.6 per cent case fatality rate (CFR). All cases were reported in southern governorates. There continued to be no reporting of cases in the northern governorates other than the first four reported cases during 2020. A total of 3,497,200 COVID-19 vaccines were shipped into the country through the COVAX initiative and in April 2021 the COVID-19 vaccination started in 133 districts of 13 southern governates. Vaccination is ongoing, and as of 29 December 2021, a total of 533,006 of the target population (5 per cent coverage of the target in the south) received a first dose and a total of 276,072 individuals were fully vaccinated.