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Eleven Million Children in Yemen are Struggling to Survive, with Save the Children Calling for Increased Funding

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (Jan. 25, 2023)—Two-thirds of the population in Yemen are struggling daily after eight years of conflict that has forced many from their homes, with seven children reportedly dying in camps for displaced people this month alone in freezing temperatures, said Save the Children in a call for more funding for the crisis. 

The launch today of the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan is a critical step towards addressing the severe needs of the 21.6 million Yemeni people who require humanitarian and protection assistance—half (or 11 million) of whom are children—said Save the Children. 

After more than eight years of conflict, millions of people in Yemen are suffering from the compounded effects of violence, ongoing economic crisis, and critical funding shortfalls, resulting in high levels of food insecurity and lack of access to basic services. 

In 2022, the Humanitarian Response Plan—a UN annual assessment of a humanitarian emergency and how to respond to it—for Yemen was only half funded, with children’s sectors among the lowest funded. Child protection received only 6.8% of required funding and the education response plan only received 12.2% of what was requested.   

Save the Children spoke to Mohammad,* a teacher in a school in Taiz that has been severely damaged during the war, about the impact of underfunding on education. He said: "We struggle with extreme overcrowding. We have between 80 to 90 pupils per classroom. Further, the classrooms have no windows, and it wounds my soul deeply as I see children shivering with cold and their hands trembling as they try to hold their pens. We are determined to keep teaching, even though our salary is barely enough to cover a few days. It’s not enough to cover even the rent." 

Save the Children’s Director of Advocacy, Campaigns, Communication, and Media, Shannon Orcutt, said:  "Nearly eight years of war in Yemen have created immense humanitarian needs and it is critical for donors to fully fund the Humanitarian Response Plan to address the impact of conflict and economic instability. 

“The underfunding of the Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen is nothing short of a tragedy for the children of this country. An estimated 4.5 million Yemenis have been internally displaced since the beginning of the conflict, yet funding for camp coordination and management received less than 3% of necessary funding. Half of Internally Displaced Persons in Yemen are children, and this lack of funding has serious impacts. Just this month, we received news of the deaths of seven children in Internally Displaced Persons camps in Marib, who died from the cold due to a lack of proper shelter. 

“Every child in Yemen deserves to have access to the basic necessities of life, and more support is needed from the international community to make that a reality." 

Save the Children has been working in Yemen since 1963, implementing programs in education, child protection, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and emergency response across most of the country. In 2022, Save the Children reached more than ten million people, over half of them children.  

Save the Children is calling on donors to urgently step up and fully fund the Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen to prevent further loss of innocent lives and to provide children with the opportunity for a better future.  

Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we’ve changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.


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