Yemen: Health Fact Sheet - September 2019

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USAID supports life-saving maternal, child health and family planning services, and a stronger health system that reaches the most vulnerable populations.

The U.S. Government has partnered with the people of Yemen since 1959 to address the humanitarian and development needs of the country. As a result of the ongoing civil war, Yemen is suffering the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. USAID is working with international and local partners to rebuild key social and economic institutions, help address the underlying causes of instability, and build the foundation for durable peace and prosperity to foster Yemen’s future resilience.

In Yemen,19.7 million people lack access to basic health services. A driving force in the complexity and urgency of Yemen’s humanitarian and health crisis is the burden of the current food security crisis. Approximately 15.9 million people in Yemen are severely food insecure – currently the most significant amount globally. As of 2019 there were over 360,000 children under five years old suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) creating irreversible stunting, as well as wasting and increased mortality due to starvation. An estimated 7.4 million people are in need of nutrition assistance, with 4.4 million people who require treatment for acute malnutrition.

Only 50 percent of the health facilities in Yemen are functioning, and these facilities face severe shortages in medicines, equipment, and staff. These gaps especially impact critical services for the most vulnerable women and children. Unmet need for family planning (FP) remains high at 31.7 percent, while only 51.5 percent of women indicate demand for FP is satisfied. Facility stock outs continue with increased duration and frequency. Yemen’s collapsing healthcare system is projected to result in 1,000 maternal deaths per 68,000 pregnant women at risk. Gender based violence has also increased by over 17 percent since the onset of conflict. In addition, the degrading health care system has resulted in vulnerability to and emergence of diseases that can generally be cured or eradicated elsewhere in the world. This ranges from the largest cholera outbreak globally impacting all but one governorate, to the emergence of diphtheria and risk of re-introduction of polio.