Yemen remains one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises due to violent conflict, economic collapse, recurrent natural disasters and severely disrupted public services. A staggering 21.6 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance in 2023, as 80 per cent of the country’s population struggles to access food, safe drinking water and adequate health services.
Women and girls are bearing the brunt of the crisis. An estimated 80 per cent of the 4.5 million people displaced in Yemen are women and children. Approximately 26 per cent of displaced households are headed by women.
Maternal mortality rates in Yemen remain the highest in the Middle East and Northern Africa region. One woman dies in childbirth every two hours in Yemen, mostly from causes that are entirely preventable. There are 5.5 million women of reproductive age and over 1.5 million pregnant and breastfeeding women are projected to experience acute malnutrition in 2023. They risk giving birth to newborns with severe stunted growth, and nursing malnourished infants, as a result of rising food insecurity.
Women and girls also continue to suffer disproportionately from gender-based violence, which is exacerbated by the crisis. Girls are increasingly vulnerable to child marriage, human trafficking, begging and child labour. Women and girls with disabilities face even greater risk. An estimated 7.1 million women and girls will require services to prevent and address gender-based violence in 2023.
As part of the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, UNFPA is appealing for $70 million in 2023 to reach 3.9 million people through these strategic priorities:
- Provision of vital lifesaving reproductive health services with emphasis on emergency obstetric and neonatal care to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.
- Provision of lifesaving protection services for women and girls with emphasis on prevention and response to different forms of violence.
- Reaching all newly displaced persons with emergency lifesaving packages through the Rapid Response Mechanism.