• 11.3 million children across Yemen now need humanitarian assistance, and 55 per cent of IDPs are children.
• OHCHR verified civilian casualties have reached 13,920, including 5,159 people killed and 8,761 injured since March 2017.
• Suspected cholera cases are likely to reach one million by the end of 2017.
• A record seven million people received food assistance in August, but WFP faces a funding shortfall of $390 million in coming months.
Children hardest hit by ongoing conflict
It is estimated that 11.3 million children in Yemen need humanitarian assistance
Ongoing conflict in Yemen has taken a particularly heavy toll on children. An estimated 11.3 million children now need humanitarian assistance and 13 per cent of total casualties in the conflict are children. Every 10 minutes, a child dies in Yemen of preventable causes such as malnutrition, diarrhoea and respiratory infections. Out of 2.9 million Yemenis who have experienced displacement since conflict escalated in 2015, some 55 per cent are children (28 per cent boys and 27 per cent girls). In August and September, at least 31 children were reported killed (20 boys, 11 girls) and 28 maimed (20 boys, eight girls).
Additionally, nine cases of recruitment and use of boys as fighters were verified.
More than five million children are at the risk of being deprived of an education. Three quarters of school teachers have not received their salaries for nearly a year while over 1,600 schools have been destroyed or partially damaged due to airstrikes or shelling. At least 147 schools are hosting IDPs and 23 are occupied by armed groups. In September, the beginning of the school year was postponed several times. Textbooks and other school materials are in severely short supply.
Across the country, scores of children are suffering from diseases, malnutrition and the trauma of displacement and violence. Of the 870,000 suspected cases of cholera reported since 27 April, 27 per cent are children under the age of 5. By the end of the year, the number of suspected cholera cases among children is likely to reach 600,000. Malnutrition is high with an estimated one in two children under 5 years of age stunted, 1.8 million children affected by Moderate Acute Malnutrition and 386,000 suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition. Even if the fighting stopped today, stunted growth and delayed cognitive development will linger for an entire generation.
Humanitarian partners have scaled up efforts to assist the children
The conflict in Yemen has forced many children to engage in negative coping mechanisms.
Child marriage, for instance, has increased with an estimated 72 per cent of girls married off before they turn 18 – an increase of 22 per cent since the conflict escalated. It is important for all parties to the conflict in Yemen to safeguard the lives of children and their right to education, protect schools and find an urgent solution to the salary crisis so that children can learn. Humanitarian partners have scaled up efforts to assist Yemen’s children but the situation remains dire. Among other interventions, 1.4 million children have been supported through the rehabilitation of schools and provision of school materials.
Nearly half a million children have benefitted from psycho-social support to cope with trauma. An ongoing vaccination campaign is targeting 5.1 million children - an increase from the 4.8 million reached the February polio vaccination campaign. For children suffering from malnutrition, 149,000 received micronutrient assistance and 88,664 received blanket supplementary assistance between January and August. In an effort to avert the collapse of the health system, humanitarian partners are supporting the operation of 1,072 primary health care facilities, and plan are to expand support to 1,000 more in prioritized districts.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.