Monday 7 October 2019

As the conflict in Yemen enters its fifth year, Save the Children and the EU are renewing their humanitarian partnership on education in the South and extending it to health and nutrition care in the North of the country. 100 000 conflict-affected people are set to benefit from the EU’s €4.5 million grant to Save the Children.  

A conservative estimate by Save the Children puts the death toll among children, due to malnutrition, to over 85 000 since start of the conflict. An estimated 7.5 million people are currently in need of nutrition assistance. The prolonged war is also depriving 2 million children of education. According to UNICEF, one in five schools can no longer be used as a direct result of the conflict.

“Children are regrettably bearing the brunt of the devastating conflict in Yemen. All must be done to protect their health and get them back to school. Healthcare and education are vital needs that the EU wishes to address through its support to humanitarian partners such as Save the Children. This partnership will help us reach vulnerable populations who lack the most basic services and are under constant threat of violence, malnutrition and disease," said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

With no end to the conflict in sight, the humanitarian crisis is expected to further deteriorate, as evidenced by escalating malnutrition rates and continuing risks of cholera. The situation is worsened by regular difficulties of access in ports of entry, restricting the movement of people and commercial goods- especially food, fuel and medicines.


More than half of all health facilities have closed or are only partially functional, leaving 19.7 million people, including 10.2 million children, without adequate access to healthcare. The partnership will provide community-based health, nutrition and protection services to vulnerable children and their families in Hajjah Governorate. More than 64 000 people are set to directly benefit from these services.

“We want to contribute to prevention and treatment of undernutrition among malnourished children and pregnant and lactating women, through timely and effective nutrition rehabilitative services and improvement of infant and young child feeding practices. We also want to make sure that children return to school.  Thanks to this partnership we have already constructed 10 classes and rehabilitated 12 learning centres” said Save the Children Yemen’s Country Director, Tamer Kirolos.


Attacks on schools also continue.2000 schools are unfit for use due to the conflict. This includes 256 schools that have been destroyed by air strikes or shelling; 1,520 schools that have been damaged; 167 schools that are sheltering IDPS; and 23 schools that are still occupied by armed groups.[1]The EU and Save the Children have already provided 10 000 internally displaced and vulnerable children in Aden and Lahj with access to quality education. The partners are embarking on a new project to provide 24 000 more children in southern Yemen with immediate access to safe, protective and integrated learning spaces.

“Since my father could not afford to provide me with the learning materials, Save the Children identified my need for support and provided me with a student’s kit comprising of books and a school bag to help me with my studies. I was also enrolled in a Learning Centre and this has helped me and many other children continue our education in a safe space.” Said Ameen* who is among the 10 000 children that have already been integrated back into formal or non-formal education.