Thirlwall supports UNICEFLittle Mix singer Jade Thirlwall supports UNICEF in its efforts to address the current crisis in Yemen. Thirlwall’s grandfather is from Yemen. Look to the Stars reports that Thirlwall is honoring her Yemeni heritage by learning about and raising awareness of the country’s war-generated and pandemic-induced challenges. According to UNICEF, Yemen is experiencing the world’s most severe humanitarian crisis. Prolonged war, a failing economy and the decline of various national systems have resulted in 70% of citizens, including 11.3 million children, requiring aid. The country is also nearing famine. As of June 2021, nearly 400,000 children are severely malnourished and 2.3 million children suffer from acute malnutrition. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the crisis by putting more pressure on the struggling healthcare system. UNICEF is committed to giving Yemeni people the help they need.

Interview with Somaya

On March 25, 2021, Thirlwall did a video interview with 17-year-old Somaya from Yemen. Somaya discussed her life as a young person born and raised in Sana’a, Yemen’s largest city. However, when the war began, Somaya’s family moved toward safety to the temporary capital of Yemen, Aden. Thirwall reminisced about how her grandfather used to cook Yemeni food and talk about life in Yemen. When Thirwall lost her grandfather at 13, she also lost touch with her Yemeni heritage, which her grandfather had always encouraged her to honor.

Education in Yemen

During the interview, Thirlwall asked Somaya about her education. Somaya replied, “I’m lucky to have the opportunity to go to school, but unfortunately, other girls don’t.” UNICEF reports that the main barrier to education for children in Yemen is scarce funding for teacher salaries. For more than two years, Yemen could not pay nearly 75% of public school teachers in about half of Yemen’s governorates. This significantly impacted the education of 3.7 million children in those areas. However, through continuous advocacy, UNICEF has now raised $70 million to pay teachers and other school employees in Yemen in order for education to continue.

UNICEF Support

As part of the same interview, Thirlwall also spoke with Malak Shaher, an advocacy specialist for UNICEF in Yemen. Shaher tells Thirwall that nearly two-thirds of the country’s 30 million people are children. Furthermore, two-thirds of those children need humanitarian assistance in order to access schooling, healthcare and clean water. Shaher shared a story of a young girl who had to stop going to school for two years because of sanitation issues in her community. Thanks to UNICEF’s support, the girl’s community now has clean water, which has enabled her and other children to return to school. Thirwall stresses the need for access to education. It is “relentless” for children to miss out on schooling due to war, the pandemic and other obstacles, she says.

The humanitarian need in Yemen is significant, but thanks to the advocacy of celebrities like Thirwall raising awareness on the issue, more people are paying attention. UNICEF states that it needs $508.8 million to help Yemen recover in 2021. More than 70% of the funds are needed for water and sanitation, healthcare and food. As Thirlwall supports UNICEF in its efforts to address Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, others may be encouraged to do the same.

Jannique McDonald
Photo: Flickr

Celebrities Who Advocated for YemenYemen is currently facing the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. Around 80% of 24 million Yemen citizens are in dire need of humanitarian aid. Around 50% of them are children. On top of battling high poverty and famine rates, they also have to handle the rapid spread of COVID-19. Many healthcare workers are volunteering their services because they are not provided a salary. Today, 10.2 million children do not have access to basic healthcare, and now, their futures are uncertain. Fortunately, there have been many celebrities who advocated for Yemen in the efforts of turning things around for the best.

What is Going on in Yemen?

The ecology issue in Yemen is partially responsible for its political instability. Each citizen, on an annual average, has around 140 cubic meters of water usage. Yemen’s lack of a main water source has led to its low supply of food. This unfortunate problem has created many disputes in rural areas over food and water supplies. The quarrels are responsible for about 4,000 deaths each year. In addition, Yemen has been a part of an ongoing war. The war in Yemen started in 2014 when the Houthi rebels controlled the capital of Yemen and the largest city, Sana’a. They demanded lower fuel prices and a new constitution. Due to that, as of 2015, over 100,000 Yemen citizens have lost their lives and homes. As of now, Yemen is in need of foreign aid. Thus, many individuals, including celebrities, are shedding awareness to Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.

American Celebrities Who Advocated for Yemen

Halsey is an American singer, songwriter and activist. She advocated on her social media about the humanitarian crisis Yemen is currently experiencing. She shared that she has made a $20,000 donation to help the children who are suffering. Halsey encourages her supporters to shed a light on Yemen’s issue by sharing her posts and tells them to donate.

Additionally, George Clooney is an American actor, film producer, director and activist. Back in 2017, he began advocating on the crisis in Yemen and other neighboring countries. He is actively known for his humanitarian services. At the time, he encouraged all Americans to contribute donations for those suffering on impoverished lands.

Gigi Hadid, an American fashion model, is also one of the celebrities who advocated for Yemen. She did this by advocating for its crisis through her Instagram story. She brought awareness by sharing a post from an Instagram account named @muslim. In addition, Hadid provided a post with links for her fans to donate.

More Celebrity Advocates

Furthermore, Ben Stiller is an American actor, comedian, film producer, film director and writer. Since 2017, he has been urging citizens to pay attention to countries facing huge humanitarian crises. These countries include Somalia and its neighboring territories. He posted a two-minute video on his Twitter, informing viewers on how certain countries’ citizens are dying due to the lack of resources.

Mark Ruffalo is an American actor and producer who is famously known for his role in the film “Avengers: EndGame.” He called for citizens to help stop the ongoing illegal war in Yemen. In a video he spoke in, Ruffalo informed his viewers that the United States is providing weapons to Saudi Arabia, who are also using starvation as a tactic of war. He stated that the U.S.’s involvement is unconstitutional and needs to be stopped. Ruffalo urged people to call Congress and vote for the Sanders-Lee Resolution to end the unauthorized U.S. war in Yemen.


Overall, when celebrities advocate on behalf of countries in need of aid, such as Yemen, they are bringing awareness to millions of their social media followers who were possibly unaware of foreign issues. By making generous donations, celebrities and their fans are able to make changes and improve the living conditions of Yemen citizens.


Megan Ha
Photo: Flickr