Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children

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Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children
Famine Threatens 1.8 Million Children

Dear Friend, 

Yemen is in the midst of an acute humanitarian crisis with no end in sight. The ongoing conflict has led to unimaginable losses for civilians. For the 3 million children born since the conflict intensified in 2015, their earliest years have been marred by violence, displacement, disease, poverty and a lack of access to the basics of life, such as food, safe water, medicine, education and safety. Children in Yemen are the most vulnerable to the effects of war. Even if they survive the conflict, the broader effect of violence and years spent out of a classroom will have an impact on their entire future, as well as generations to come. More than two and a half years of conflict have forced 2 million children out of school, adding to the long list of hardships they have endured.

Yemen is now considered the world’s largest man-made food security crisis. Sixty percent of the total Yemeni population is food insecure and needs urgent food assistance. Around 1.8 million children and 1 million pregnant and lactating women are acutely malnourished. Nearly 400,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), a life threatening condition. The chances of death for moderately malnourished children are four times higher than those of healthy children.

Even before the outbreak of conflict in March 2015, Yemen faced challenges from widespread poverty, food insecurity and lack of health services. Today, food shortages and poor access to markets, reduced access to healthcare and sanitation, reduced income options and disruption of livelihood opportunities are the main causes of the spiraling food insecurity and malnutrition. Ongoing conflict and economic decline have steadily eroded coping mechanisms, leaving large parts of the population at risk of famine.

Even after the conflict ends, the effects of malnutrition – stunted growth and delayed cognitive development – may linger. In the worst cases, it is fatal. Severely malnourished children are 11 times more likely to die if not treated on time.

UNICEF in Action

Humanitarian operations in Yemen are decentralized, with five UNICEF field offices managing interventions locally. UNICEF is working in many capacities across Yemen, with a specific focus on nutrition in partnership with a range of local and international partners. While the World Food Program (WFP) has taken the lead on the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition, UNICEF is leading on the treatment of SAM. Since the start of the crisis, UNICEF has been continually scaled up its treatment and surveillance of malnutrition.

In 2018, UNICEF will continue to strengthen its emergency nutrition response in Yemen. As part of its Community Management of Malnutritionprogram, UNICEF willdeliver quality lifesaving interventions for acutely malnourished girls, boys and pregnant and lactating women, expanding its screening and SAM treatment programs into new districts to increase coverage.

To improve the quality of SAM treatment programs, UNICEF will train more community workers on Community Based Management of Malnutrition in partnership with the World Health Organization and WFP. UNICEF and its partners will also work to ensure pregnant women receive counselling on young child feeding and iron/folate supplements that can prevent maternal and infant deaths.

Globally, in 2016 UNICEF and it's partners treated 3.4 million children for SAM in 71 countries. UNICEF is the largest global supplier of  Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), purchasing 80% of RUTF globally and the majority of therapuetic milk. 

The Impact of Your Support

Despite the millions of women and children that UNICEF reached in 2017, there continues to be a significant funding gap for nutrition programming and we need your support to help close the gap. Given the length of the conflict and the catastrophic breakdown of public services, UNICEF urgently needs funding to scale up nutrition services in hard-to-reach areas; respond to the onset of additional emergencies; and support measures to prevent malnutrition and improve resilience in Yemen.

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12 Dec 2017, Yemen. UNICEF/2017/MAlgabal
12 Dec 2017, Yemen. UNICEF/2017/MAlgabal

Dear Friend,

Thanks to your support, UNICEF and partners were able to support children and families affected by the nutrition crisis in Africa and the Middle East. Your partnership has helped UNICEF and its partners provide critical support to the most vulnerable children, which includes treatment for approximately 1.4 million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. 

Below is an overview of UNICEF’s response in the four countries worst affected:


In Yemen, more than 1,000 days since the conflict escalated, the country is in the grips of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with restrictions on fuel and food imports further complicating emergency response. The restrictions add to the misery of children in Yemen who already face the triple threat of diseases, malnutrition and violence. In 2017, more than 204,031 children with life threatening severe acute malnutrition were admitted for treatment in UNICEF supported programs.

South Sudan
Nutrition and food security remain critical challenges across South Sudan. UNICEF works in South Sudan with over 112 partners to provide nutrition, health, WASH, education and child protection services, with priority to lifesaving interventions for the population most affected by the humanitarian crisis. Over 276,000 children under five are at risk of death and irreversible damage without access to critical nutrition. In 2017, UNICEF delivered assistance to 2.3 million people, including 2.1 children. UNICEF treated more than 160,000 children for severe acute malnutrition.

Conflict, insecurity, drought and famine have defined Somalia throughout more than two decades. Currently, about a third of the population is still in crisis and in need of immediate food security and livelihood assistance. In 2017, more than 226,137 children with life threatening severe acute malnutrition were admitted for treatment in UNICEF supported programs.

UNICEF continues to scale up delivery and quality of the humanitarian response to affected populations in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states in coordination with the Government, other United Nations agencies, and non-governmental organizations. UNICEF is targeting the most vulnerable populations. In 2017, more than 189,242 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition.

Your support not only helped avert the loss of many lives early on in this crisis, but is also supporting UNICEF’s sustained response, as alarming levels of food insecurity continue to threaten children’s lives.

On behalf of the children affected by this crisis, thank you.


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Thanks to the immediate response by partners like you, famine has been pushed backin South Sudan. Across the 13 countries affected by this crisis, your support has helped UNICEF and its partners provide critical support to the most vulnerable children, which includes treatment for approximately 744,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

But, the situation across these countries affected by food insecurity –along with conflict, displacement, below-average harvests and soaring food prices–still remains urgent, leaving millions in need of life-saving support such as screening and treatment forchildren suffering frommalnutrition; health services such as vaccinations; water, sanitation and hygiene programs to prevent deadly diarrheal diseases; protection for children affected by the conflict and displacement; access to education; and cash assistance to the most vulnerable families. 


Identified 8,430 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). Since January 2017, close to 80,000 children with SAM have been admitted to therapeutic care by UNICEF.

Rehabilitated 32 water points providing over 14,000 people with access to safe water, which includes new internally displaced persons and respond to the current cholera outbreak in Jonglei State.

Established 12 temporary learning spaces and rehabilitated 11 classrooms in Guit, Mayom, Pariang and Panyijiar counties increasing access to education for 1,840 children and adolescents.

Treatedmore than 76,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and provided 500,000 people with safe drinking water and an additional 200,000 people with access to sanitation facilities. UNICEF plans to reach more than 200,000 children under the age of five with treatment for severe acute malnutrition.

Provided close to 100,000 children with lifesaving treatment for severe acute malnutrition since January 2017.

Provided 104,462 children with access to education. All UNICEF-supported schools remained open during the school break, with special catch-up classes in the afternoon for children who missed classes due to drought-induced displacement.

Supported 672,520 women and children under five with emergency life-saving health services by supporting over 100 health facilities and close to 90 mobile health units.

Provided more than 1.58 million people with temporary access to safe water.

With the health system working at the limits of its capacity, the communitymanagement of acute malnutrition program has become even more critical to treat and prevent malnutrition. Over 16,500 children were treated for severe acute malnutrition in May and nearly 7,000 received micronutrient supplementation.

An immunization campaign reached almost 37,000 pregnant women and approximately 323,000 women of child bearing age with the tetanus toxoid vaccine.

Rehabilitated 22 water supply systems and maintenance support to an additional 30 systems to provide 253,000 people with sustainable drinking water.

Over 23,000 internally displaced people received water, sanitation and hygiene support including emergency water supply trucking, installation of water storage tanks and constructing emergency latrines.

A total of 46,839 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition have been admitted into the therapeutic feeding programs, which includes a regular intake of ready-to-use therapeutic food.

Close to 137,000 people have been reached with safe water through various interventions such as rehabbing hand pumps and/or trucking in water. In Borno and Adamawa for example, 41 hand pumps and a solar borehole were rehabilitated to provide access to safe water for 21,446 people.

UNICEF reached 45,317 children with community-based psychosocial support. Message of Thanks


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Organization Information


Location: New York - USA
Project Leader:
Emma Pfister
New York, New York United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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