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Japanese Government supports UNICEF’s programmes in Yemen


SANA’A, Yemen – The Government of Japan has announced significant new funding to support UNICEF’s programmes for women and children in Yemen.

This is the third year that the Government of Japan has contributed to UNICEF’s humanitarian efforts in support of children and women affected by the ongoing conflicts across  the country. 

“Japan’s new assistance could not be more timely,” said UNICEF Yemen Representative Mr Julien Harneis. “UNICEF will be able to scale up its response in the areas of nutrition, health, water, sanitation and hygiene promotion, as well as education and child protection.”

The situation in Yemen remains precarious with an estimated 58 per cent of the population – or approximately 14.7 million people – undergoing a humanitarian crisis and needing assistance in 2014.

“Despite recent gains made on the political front, Yemen continues to be beleaguered by a struggling economy, underdevelopment; challenging political transition and volatile security,” Mr Harneis added.  “The most vulnerable population – and this includes children – remains cut off from help in insecure areas in the country.”

Inadequate primary health care services have left an estimated 7,500 children infected with vaccine preventable diseases. 

Thousands of children are malnourished, and their plight is worsened by the poor sanitation conditions and lack of access to safe water across the country. More than 250,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), heightening their risk of dying from complications if not treated. The risk of outbreaks resulting from water borne diseases remains high.

Yemen is also a water-scarce country, with inadequate water and sanitation infrastructure and poor hygiene practices. An estimated 13.1 million Yemenis lack access to improved sources of drinking water – such as piped supplies, boreholes fitted with pumps, and protected wells. An estimated 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation.

In recent months 30 children were killed and 11 maimed due to ongoing conflicts in the north and south.  There have also been five attacks on hospitals and seven attacks on schools, which constitute grave child rights violations.

This support from the Government of Japan will enable UNICEF to:

  • Enrol 30,000 severely acutely malnourished children under the age of five in the outpatient therapeutic feeding programme (OTP).
  • Set up 80 additional OTP sites across the country.
  • Train 1,200 community health volunteers on how to improve nutrition.
  • Ensure continued access to safe drinking water for at least 60,000 people.
  • Conduct four rounds of maternal and child health outreach activities including medical checks for 400,000 children under five and 80,000 pregnant women; and treating 100,000 children suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
  • Improve the quality of education for 5,000 school children, including those who are internally displaced and others affected by conflict.
  • Train 450 teachers and school supervisors in child-centred teaching methodologies, including in emergencies. 
  • Provide some 30,000 vulnerable children with psychosocial and protection services
  • Give land-mine awareness and avoidance training to 20,000 people, including children.

“The Government of Japan has been focusing on alleviation of suffering of women and children in Yemen. We hope this new contribution will help UNICEF and the Yemeni Government better prepare the environment for people in need,” said Ambassador of Japan Mr Katsuyoshi Hayashi.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:


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