The rate of child malnutrition is one of the highest in the world: 75 per cent of Yemeni children are suffering from acute malnutrition. WFP is supporting 3.3 million children and mothers with nutrition supplements and provides 1.55 million children with daily snacks in school — a vital nutrition boost that also helps them keep studying.
Acute malnutrition among young children and mothers in Yemen has increased with each year of conflict, driven by high rates of disease such as diarrhea, respiratory tract infections and cholera. In 2022, UNICEF is working to admit 366,358 children for treatment for severe acute malnutrition.
A sharp increase in the price of basic commodities, which have seen a 30 to 70 per cent spike since the start of the conflict, is making the food crisis even worse.
Since the conflict began, Yemen’s economy has diminished by more than half, with over 80% of people now living below the poverty line. The collapse is most visible in loss of income, depreciation, loss of government revenue, and rising commodity prices and import restrictions, including for fuel.
With only 50 per cent of Yemen’s health facilities functional, the ongoing pandemic is placing additional pressure on the country’s already fragile health system. WHO is working alongside health authorities and other partners to support primary healthcare services in priority districts. This support has enabled more Yemenis to access health care — including vulnerable people in remote areas.
Even with the current levels of humanitarian assistance, 12 of Yemen’s 22 governorates have large food consumption gaps. In 2021, through the rehabilitation of water infrastructure and irrigation systems, FAO provided emergency agricultural and livestock assistance to help restore and protect vulnerable livelihoods and promote rural community resilience.
Food insecurity will continue to rise in Yemen without continued humanitarian support. Ultimately, it is peace that can break the cycle of hunger and conflict. It is peace that will enable Yemenis to rebuild their country and restore their dignity and hope.
This photo essay comprises photos from several UN agencies on the ground in Yemen: WFP, UNICEF, WHO and OCHA. It was compiled and written by Elie Baaklini, Development Coordination Office (DCO), with support from DCO’s editorial team. For more on the UN’s work in Yemen, please visit: Yemen.un.org. You can find more information about the High-level Pledging Event on the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen here.