More than three years of war have pushed Yemen into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving what was already the region's poorest country on the brink of famine. The economy has collapsed, sending food prices soaring. Around 22 million people – 80% of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance, 17.6 million of whom need food. Children are dying of starvation.
On top of this, there have been recurrent outbreaks of cholera, with 1.1 million cases reported in the last 18 months, resulting in 2,000 deaths.
Around 1.8 million children and 1.1 million pregnant and lactating women are severely malnourished, including 400,000 children under the age of five who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
An analysis of UN data by Save the Children estimated that as many as 85,000 children under five may have already died as a result of malnutrition. That’s the equivalent of every child under five in Birmingham.
"For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are starving to death and it's entirely preventable," said Tamer Kirolos, Yemen director at Save the Children. "Children who die in this way suffer immensely as their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop.”
The DEC launched an appeal for Yemen in December 2016, raising £30 million. This money allowed our member charities to scale up their response and save many lives. You can find out more about how the money helped in the first six months of the response here.
But despite aid agencies best efforts, the situation has worsened. If action isn’t taken, Yemen could face the worst famine in modern times, with millions of lives on the line.
The following DEC member charities have open appeals for the Yemen crisis:
- Age International
- British Red Cross
- CARE International
- Islamic Relief
- Save the Children
Image: Mohammed Awadh / Save the Children