Yemen: A crisis for women and girls

Yemen remains one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises. In 2023, a staggering 21.6 million people require some form of humanitarian assistance as 80 percent of the country struggles to put food on the table and access basic services. 

Eight years of conflict, compounded by economic collapse, natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, have taken an inordinate toll on women and girls. The health system has virtually collapsed cutting their access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health services. Today a woman dies during pregnancy and childbirth every two hours from causes which are almost entirely preventable with access to services. In 2023, more than 1.5 million pregnant and breastfeeding women are projected to suffer acute malnutrition – with risks of negative birth outcomes and malnourished infants.

Violence against women and girls, already high before the conflict, has worsened, with displaced women and girls, female-headed households and those with disabilities particularly at risk. Girls are increasingly vulnerable to child marriage, human trafficking and child labour. As needs soar, protection systems are at best overstretched or entirely absent.

UNFPA’s priority is to ensure that all Yemeni women and girls can access services that are vital to their health, well-being and lives. As part of the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, UNFPA is appealing for $70 million in 2023 to reach 3.9 million people. With this funding, UNFPA will deliver:

  • Reproductive health services, with a focus on emergency obstetric and neonatal care to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity.
  • Protection services for women and girls to prevent and respond to different forms of violence.
  • Emergency life-saving packages for all newly-displaced persons through the Rapid Response Mechanism.

Updated on 29 March 2023