DEC announces £20 million for the emergency in Yemen - a country on the brink of famine


The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) has now raised £20 million for the Yemen Crisis Appeal, since it was launched on 13 December 2016. This month the UN has announced that Yemen is on the brink of famine. Almost 19 million people - 70% of the population - are desperately in need of help, with 14 million people already hungry. Yemen is just one of four countries where famine is looming at present; the UN has already declared famine in parts of South Sudan, with Somalia and northern Nigeria at crisis point.

Saleh Saeed, CEO of the DEC, has just returned from a journey across war-torn Yemen. Saleh travelled to see for himself the situation on the ground and the work DEC member charities are already doing with funds raised from the Yemen Crisis Appeal to help more than 1.5 million people with lifesaving aid, including food, cash aid, health care, water and sanitation.

Saleh said: “I visited Hodeida, one of the areas worst affected by extreme hunger. The number of patients attending the hospital there has increased fivefold over the last year. It broke my heart to see so many children suffering from severe malnutrition. They were so weak they could hardly stand.

“But there is hope – the funds that the British public have given to the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal are already making a huge difference. In the Al Zuhra clinic in Hodeida, I watched children like one-year-old Omar have their mid-upper arm measured, a simple way to quickly and easily diagnose malnutrition. Omar was then prescribed 10 packets of ‘Plumpy Nut’ – a tasty peanut paste and life-saving treatment which only costs 25p per sachet and can easily be given to children by their parents.

“I travelled across both the north and south of the country and saw how humanitarian aid was getting to the hundreds of thousands of people in desperate need through water and sanitation projects, cash vouchers and food parcels. I met some of these people in person – many of whom wanted me to express their appreciation for the help given by the British public.

“However, the numbers in need were overwhelming. Having been born in Yemen, and visited many times over the years, I was truly shocked to see how the country had been devastated by conflict. The lives of so many families are at risk because of the food crisis and we need more funds to prevent Yemen slipping into widespread famine.”

The Yemen Crisis Appeal has now raised a total of £20 million from the British public, corporate supporters and the UK Government through its Aid Match contribution.

The DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal is still open. Please visit and donate.

What your money could buy:

  • £25 could provide a month’s supply of life-saving peanut paste to a malnourished child
  • £60 could provide clean drinking water for two families for a month
  • £100 could provide supplies to a clinic treating severely malnourished children for a week

Stay up to date with developments in Yemen, the emergency response and the fundraising efforts with the DEC on twitter:; on Facebook via or by following #YemenCrisis



Notes to editors:

1. Media enquiries please call Karen Garvin on 07971 576917, Nicola Peckett on 020 7255 9111, or outside office hours 07930 999 014.

2. Recent photos, footage and spokespeople are available

3. The DEC brings 13 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis: ActionAid UK, Age International, British Red Cross, CAFOD, CARE International UK, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Islamic Relief Worldwide, Oxfam GB, Plan International UK, Save the Children UK, Tearfund and World Vision UK; all collectively raising money to reach those in need quickly. ActionAid UK, Plan International UK and World Vision UK are not responding in Yemen.

4. Donations from the UK nations break down as follows: Scotland £1.7 million, Wales £690,000, Ireland £455,823 and England £17 million.

5. To donate £5 by text send the word SUPPORT to 70000. The full £5 will go to the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal. Donors must be 16 years or over and have bill payer’s permission. Texts are free and donations will be added to the bill.

6. Examples of how DEC funding from the Yemen Crisis Appeal will be spent until end 2017 in Yemen:

  • Age International’s partner is vaccinating 12,960 children against polio and measles and screening 2,000 children and older people for malnutrition.
  • British Red Cross is continuing to improve water facilities for over 1.3 million people, distributing food parcels to 35,000 people and other essential supplies to 21,000 people.
  • CAFOD’s partner is distributing food vouchers to 520 people and screening and treating 2,262 children.
  • CARE is giving cash transfers and vouchers to 2,730 people and improving access to water for 10,500.
  • Christian Aid’s partner is screening and treating 43,535 children and pregnant and lactating women.
  • Concern Worldwide’s partner is giving cash transfers and vouchers to 12,320 people.
  • Islamic Relief will provide food parcels and household kits, access to safe drinking water and hygiene promotion and hygiene kits to 4,000 people.
  • Oxfam is distributing cash or vouchers to more than 33,600 people, distributing hygiene kits, doing hygiene promotion, collecting waste and improving water supply to 155,300 people.
  • Save the Children is training and supporting health workers, treating communicable diseases and improving health facilities for over 102,000 people, improving access to water in schools and in the communities, distributing hygiene kits for 51,570 people and training health workers and screening and treating 95,278 children for malaria.
  • Tearfund’s partners are providing access to safe drinking water, distributing water filters providing hygiene kits, sanitation and doing health promotion with over 6,000 people.

7. The figure of 1.5 million people that will be reached has been calculated by totalling the number of projected beneficiaries as reported by all DEC’s member charities working in Yemen using funds raised from DEC’s Yemen Crisis Appeal. While there should be very little or no double counting of the same aid deliveries, in some cases unavoidable double counting will occur where different organisations have supported the same people.