Yemen National Strategy for Social and Behavior Change in Nutrition 2018-2021 [EN/AR]

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CHAPTER 1. Introduction and situation analysis

1.1 Objective

This chapter aims to provide overall understanding of current IYCF practices in Yemen, main barriers, enablers, and motivations influencing optimal behavior adoption. The objective is to provide key information to design an effective nutrition “social and behavior change” (SBC) strategy developed in chapter 2 and to contribute to the national IYCF strategy 2017-2021.

1.2 Nutrition context in Yemen

Before the conflict started in 2015, Yemen’s nutrition situation was poor with 47% of children under five years being stunted, 16% acutely malnourished, and 5% severely acutely malnourished (YNDHS, 2013). One-third of children under 5 years showed symptoms of diarrhea in the 2 weeks before the survey. Estimated anemia prevalence in children aged 6-59 months is 86%. Regarding women’s nutritional status, 25% are underweight and 24% of the women are overweight or obese, overweight being more frequent in urban settings, and 71% of pregnant and lactating women suffer from anemia. Geographical access to health services is difficult, with 50% of the overall population having access to health care2 , and only 30% in rural areas. The current crisis is bringing additional challenges such as a deterioration of access to safe drinking water, poor sanitation, dysfunctional health services, insecurity, lack of food, and adoption of negative coping mechanisms.