Facts about Yemeni refugees

Though it has not drawn as much international attention as the conflicts in Iraq and Syria, the ongoing civil war in Yemen has devastated an already struggling country.

One reason for the lack of attention is because the Yemen conflict has produced a smaller number of international refugees. Yet, almost 200,000 people have fled the country and more than 2 million have been internally displaced. Below are ten facts about Yemeni refugees and the volatile situation that has led to a protracted civil war.

  1. Most Yemeni refugees are foreigners themselves. Yemen has long been viewed as the entry point to the Middle East.  This is the case for many people coming from poorer countries in Africa since Yemen borders Saudi Arabia, a wealthier country home to huge numbers of guest workers.
  2. A large number of Yemeni refugees are internally displaced. As of December 2015, there were an estimated 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Yemen. This is almost 10 percent of the population.
  3. Even prior to the war, Yemen was the poorest country in the Middle East. This means that Yemeni refugees have scarcer resources to draw upon than refugees from other war-torn countries in the region.
  4. Many of the refugees from Yemen are now living in other poor countries. Of note, 33,000 Yemeni refugees now live in Djibouti and 32,000 in Somalia, two countries that are highly unstable and major producers of refugees themselves.
  5. Yemen’s geographic position makes it difficult for displaced persons to leave the country. Yemen is located at the corner of the Arabian Peninsula and its land borders include one of the most inhospitable desert terrains in the world. Several of the closest countries by sea are themselves highly unstable and violent.
  6. Historically, Yemen has been a generous acceptor of refugees. It is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula to be party to the 1951 U.N. Convention and the 1967 Protocol on Refugees. Yemen has welcomed refugees from countries in the Horn of Africa that suffer from persistent civil strife and repressive governments, like Somalia and Eritrea.
  7. Yemen’s civil war is locked in a stalemate. This means that the number of Yemeni refugees may increase  as the nation’s infrastructure continues to be destroyed by war.
  8. Yemen’s internal divisions have deep historical roots. During the colonial era, the north was controlled by the Ottoman Empire and the south by Great Britain. During the Cold War, North Yemen was capitalist while South Yemen was communist.
  9. Water scarcity has reached crisis levels in Yemen. This is one of the most important facts about Yemeni refugees and it also affects the entire population. According to The Guardian, 50 percent of Yemenis struggle to obtain clean water and the capital city of Sanaa may run out of water in the near future. As is the case for many conflicts around the world, water scarcity and control of water supplies are key issues.
  10. Yemen’s population has a high percentage of young people. Over 40 percent of the population is 14 years old or younger, and more than 20 percent falls in the 15 -24 age range.

Raising awareness of these facts about Yemeni refugees is important. Refugees all over the world flee from war and civil strife to seek refuge and find a better life, not just from Syria and Iraq. The facts here may not be an exhaustive list of the Yemeni refugee situation, but they provide insight into the issues this country faces on a daily basis.

Jonathan Hall-Eastman

Photo: Flickr

Poverty in Yemen

Ranked 160 out of 188 countries on the UNDP Human Development index, Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab World. Ravaged by conflict for the past year and a half, poverty in Yemen has been increasing and will likely continue to do so as conflict is prolonged.

Since Houthi rebels seized the government in 2014, a Saudi-led coalition has been engaged in combat with them. Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula and ISIS have also increased activity opposed to both groups and further serve to increase unrest.

So far, the conflict has resulted in over 6,400 deaths, over 30,500 people injured and 2.8 million people internally displaced. In a country of 25.6 million people, 82% of the population is in need of emergency humanitarian assistance and 19.3 million Yemenis are without safe drinking water or sanitation. At the beginning of the conflict, 14.4 million Yemenis faced chronic food insecurity, but that figure has increased by 35% since the conflict began.

The conflict has also had a significant toll on economic activity. Oil and gas exports, Yemen’s main source of income, have ceased. Imports have also contracted, aside from critical food and energy imports. Inflation reached as high as 30% in 2015, and is expected to increase further as the fiscal performance continues to weaken.

To alleviate the crisis, more than 70 humanitarian organizations have been attempting to provide assistance to those experiencing these conditions. However, limited access and budgets have hampered its ability to reach a majority of the population.

The UNDP initiative, Yemen Our Home, is one of the actors attempting to provide relief to the Yemeni people. Yemen Our Home is trying to garner support for and donors to restore and support community functions such as through a recent deal with Sabafon Telecommunication Company, which created a mobile clinic in the Sho’ub District of Yemen’s Capital City, Sana’a. Other projects that the initiative is attempting to fund and implement include solid waste management in cities, food production and energy.

Even before the most recent conflict, Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Middle East. Thirty-seven percent of the population lives below the poverty line of $2 a day per person, the concentration of which live in rural areas. Statistics from 2012 indicate that almost 60% of children under the age of five have chronic malnutrition, 35% are underweight, and 13% have acute malnutrition, which are some of the highest rates in the world.

Poverty in Yemen persists in part due to lack of access to basic resources such as land and water and to services such as health care and education. With a majority of the population living in rural areas, their state of isolation makes it even more difficult for people living in poverty to gain access to resources and services.

Such conditions compounded with poor infrastructure prevent humanitarian assistance from accessing those Yemenis in need. Even with a cease-fire signed in March, difficult-to-reach areas are limited in the amount of assistance they can receive.

As long as conflict continues, poverty in Yemen will only increase in magnitude. Restoring peace and order is critical for beginning reconstruction and addressing the issue of poverty.

Adam Gonzalez

Photo: flickr

Yemeni_CiviliansOngoing conflict in Yemen continues to take its toll on the civilian population. According to the United Nations Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), 21.2 million Yemeni civilians of the total 26 million in the population are in need of humanitarian assistance.

15 million people no longer have adequate healthcare as a result of the conflict in Yemen. Fuel and medical supply shortages have severely hindered functioning of hospitals and health facilities.

The deterioration of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services further aggravates the situation — approximately 20.4 million people lack adequate WASH services, says UNOCHA.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently working with other health partners to “ensure the continuity of health services” in Yemen.

Mobile clinics, for example, serve as “primary healthcare centers” in more remote areas of the country. WHO, partnered with Field Medical Foundation, have set up mobile clinics which specifically cater to the treatment of children between six months and five years of age in Aden, Lahj and Hadramout.

Approximately one million liters of fuel have been delivered to health facilities. The WHO and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have been working together to bring water to different regions of the country.

According to BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner, the conflict in Yemen began in the 2011 Arab Spring.

In an attempt to contain protests within Yemen’s borders, Yemen and its Gulf Arab neighbors made a deal that ultimately led to the replacement of President Ali Abdullah Saleh by Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

In retaliation, Saleh supported a rebellion by Houthi rebels in late 2014. By January 2015, President Hadi had lost power and immediately made for Saudi Arabia, where he currently lives in exile.

Yemen now finds itself torn between Houthi/pro-Saleh forces in the West and Hadi forces in the East. As the fighting continues, WHO and other organizations continue to make major efforts toward supporting Yemeni civilians caught up in the violence.

Jocelyn Lim

Sources: BBC, World Health Organization (WHO) 1, World Health Organization (WHO) 2, World Health Organization (WHO) 3, UNICEF, UNOCHA
Photo: Google Images

The civil war in Yemen has led to the deaths and injuries of over 1,000 children, and 4,300 total deaths, according to Save The Children. The crisis is worsening as the number of recruits to join the fighting has increased to 377 this year from 156 last year, according to Children Under Threat.

Just as concerning is the inadequate amount of humanitarian aid that is being sent to the country. Only 18 percent of the funding needed to address immediate needs has been received.

Stephen O’Brien, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs had to persuade the UN Security Council to increase aid. O’Brien saw first-hand that 4 out of 5 Yemenis need aid, while 1.5 million are internally displaced.

According to the World Food Program about 13 million, or half of the population is going hungry and 6 million face starvation.

The conflict is preventing the importation of food and other aid. The conflict has also led to the doubling of gas prices, a resource needed for cooking.

On top of the malnutrition among 2 million people, over 2.5 million Yemeni children under age 15 are at risk of contracting measles, which would be 1 million more than 2014.

The months of ongoing conflict is between Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, and forces loyal to exiled government, backed by Saudi Arabia. O’Brien has called for the international community to get the opposing parties to negotiate.

Paula Acevedo

Sources: ABC, Thomson Reuters Foundation
Photo: Huffington Post

United Nations Humanitarian Chief, Stephen O’Brien, called a meeting of multiple U.N. agencies in July to discuss immediate action regarding deteriorating humanitarian conditions within the conflict-ravaged nation of Yemen, as fears of widespread famine within the country continue to grow.

Officials agreed to raise the caution of humanitarian emergency in Yemen to Level Three, the highest humanitarian crisis level within the United Nations, after the World Health Organization (WHO) provided updated statistics regarding the severity of conditions within the Arab world’s most impoverished country.

The WHO recently announced that an estimated 21.1 million Yemenis currently require significant humanitarian aid, with an additional 13 million people faced with a food security crisis and 9.4 million people exercising limited to no access to basic water resources.

Health officials have stressed the adverse effects these conditions will have on the national population, as inadequate access to these essential resources will increase the risk of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, and the persistence of widespread malnourishment.

In addition to Yemen, the United Nations has placed the nations of Iraq, Syria and South Sudan at Level Three of humanitarian emergency in recent months due to consistently escalating conflicts within these regions. The U.N. Humanitarian Office states that declaring a top-level humanitarian emergency allows for the mobilization of extended aid funding and an organization-wide deployment of staffing personnel.

A U.N. official familiar with agency operations within Yemen stated after this summer’s emergency meeting that an additional 11.7 million citizens will be targeted for humanitarian assistance provided by additional resources mobilized by the Level Three declaration.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the U.N. envoy for Yemen, stated last week in a press release that Yemen is, “One step away from famine,” after noting that only two million Yemeni citizens were in need of humanitarian assistance two years ago.

Houthi Shiite rebels and military forces allied with former President Ali Abduallah seized Sana’a, the capital of Yemen, in September and have been conducting military operations against Sunni militants, local separatists and tribal militias allied with current President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. President Hadi was forced to flee to Saudi Arabia after the invasion of Sana’a by Houthi forces last year

A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has been conducting airstrikes within Yemen against Houthi rebel forces since March. The conflict has resulted in 3,083 fatalities and 14,324 casualties since its onset last year according to the most recent estimates of the WHO.

Ahmed also urged all contingents within the regional conflict that erupted earlier this year to participate in a humanitarian ceasefire during the month-long celebration of the Muslim holiday Ramadan in order to ease the delivery of humanitarian aid resources.

The U.N. envoy to Yemen outlined multiple solutions to the conflict which included, “The need for a ceasefire, an orderly withdrawal of Houthi forces from cities, monitoring and verification mechanisms, an agreement to respect international humanitarian law and not to hinder the deployment of humanitarian aid operations; and a commitment to engage in talks mediated by the United Nations.”

James Thornton

Sources: Big Story, Middle East Monitor
Photo: The Telegraph

The World Food Programme is waging war on hunger and fighting an uphill battle in six of the world’s hunger hot spots; Syria, Iraq, Yemen, South Sudan, Nepal and the Ebola-affected regions in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Most of the world’s population lives in developing countries. Many of them are mired in extreme poverty, with little hope of access to clean water and often reduced to scavenging for food in trash heaps lining their decrepit shanty town streets, just to feed their children. But in these six emergencies, the situation is even more urgent.

The World Food Programme (WFP), the world’s largest humanitarian aid agency fighting hunger, is the food aid branch of the United Nations, working to address hunger across the globe and promoting food security. Workers are on the ground in these areas trying to ease the crisis by providing needy families with life-saving food.

In Syria, the WFP is struggling to meet food need demands, as nearly six million people have been displaced. The ongoing armed conflict in Syria has been growing worse and the situation steadily deteriorating. Although the WFP has been reaching approximately four million people using hand to mouth operations, funding is running low and the need is increasing drastically.

Iraq has been in crisis for years and continues to be. The recent upsurge in violence has left 1.8 million displaced without access to water or food. The WFP reports having reached out to about a million people since June, providing assistance.

Yemen is a rapidly deteriorating humanitarian emergency. With around half of all children under five being stunted (too short for their age), Yemen already stands as having one of the highest child malnutrition rates in the world. Millions of people are being cut off from basic human needs such as food, water and electricity as fighting persists and fuel shortages continue.

Although the food security threat in South Sudan has been stabilized for now, sustainable assistance is essential in the region as the situation remains extremely fragile. The WFP has been able to reach more than 2.5 million people this year but if fighting continues, the situation in South Sudan could turn into a full-blown catastrophe.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25th, 2015 devastated the region, leaving approximately eight million people affected and living without access to food, water or shelter. With the epicenter being just outside of Kathmandu, large populations were displaced and 30 out of 75 districts in the country were ruined. The Nepalese government issued a state of emergency and the WFP is currently in the country providing assistance.

The WFP has responded in force to the Ebola emergency plaguing West Africa and has met the needs of people affected by the outbreak since April in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Along with food assistance, the WFP is also helping get the humanitarian staff and equipment into the crisis zones.

According to, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 805 million people of the 7.3 billion people in the world, or one in nine, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2012 to 2014. Almost all the hungry people, 791 million, live in developing countries, representing 13.5 percent, or one in eight, of the population of developing counties.

When disaster strikes or when war tears through a nation, humanity can be taken to the breaking point. With help from organizations like the World Food Programme, families fighting for survival can find some relief and possibly some hope.

Jason Zimmerman

Sources: WFP, World Hunger
Photo: Action Against Hunger

Yemen’s humanitarian crisis continued to escalate on the days approaching a United Nations-planned ceasefire, which was to take effect on Friday, July 10 at 23:59 local time and last until the end of Ramadan on July 17. Since late March 2015, when fighting broke out, the people of Yemen began to experience ever-deteriorating humanitarian conditions.

According to UN News Centre, “In the past three months alone, some 3,000 Yemenis have been killed, half of them civilians, and 14,000 others injured. Over a million people have had to flee their homes and 21 million need immediate help, close to 13 million people are unable to meet their food needs, 15 million people have no healthcare and outbreaks of dengue and malaria are raging unchecked.”

Unfortunately, the planned week-long ceasefire lasted only hours before Arab coalition-led airstrikes and fighting broke out once again, ending the UN-brokered truce. No side, neither the Houthis nor the Arab coalition forces, took responsibility for having broken the agreement.

UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric expressed the vital importance of a legitimate ceasefire: “it is imperative and urgent that humanitarian aid can reach all vulnerable people of Yemen unimpeded and through an unconditional humanitarian pause.”

After the failed ceasefire, Stephen O’Brien, the United Nations emergency relief coordinator, called upon all parties to attempt to once more put a pause to the conflict in order to access those in need and to provide people with proper humanitarian aid.

Nevertheless, UN agencies and other organizations have seen breakthroughs in aid and success in accessing those in need of humanitarian assistance through constant persistence. On July 14, 2015, the World Health Organization reported that it delivered supplies to Aden, which included “46.4 metric tonnes of medicines, medical supplies, and water and sanitation supplies for more than 84,000 beneficiaries in eight districts of Aden governorate”—an area which suffered a rise in dengue fever and malaria as a result of the conflict’s limiting access to healthcare.

The WHO also managed to dispense bed nets to over 9,000 households and provide residual spray materials and equipment, along with house-to-house spraying conducted by trained staff.

Subsequently, UN News Centre reports that the “WHO has distributed a total of more than 175 metric tonnes of medicines and medical supplies and more than 500,000 litres of fuel to maintain the functionality of main hospitals, vaccine stores, ambulances, national laboratories, kidney and oncology centres, and health centres in 13 governorates, reaching a total of almost five million people, including 700,000 internally displaced persons and 140,000 children under the age of five.”

Furthermore, as fighting escalated in Aden, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced what could only be described as “a major breakthrough”: the WFP’s first ship docked in the Al-Buraiqa port in the city of Aden, bringing with it 3,000 metric tonnes of food—enough to sustain 180,000 people for a month—and relief for the many food-insecure Yemenis, totalling at about 13 million people.

As the conflict rages on and the people of Yemen continue to suffer in ruin as a result of war, their survival lies in the hands of international aid organizations, which, even through war-ravaged times, are committed to their mission to aid those most in need, wherever they may be.

Jaime Longoria

Sources: Al Jazeera, UN News Centre 1, UN News Centre 2, UN News Centre 3
Photo: DW

The conflict in Yemen, which has been raging for the past three months, has led to a humanitarian catastrophe that has caused 2,800 deaths, displaced over a million people, and caused 21 million Yemenis to be in dire need of immediate assistance, according to UNICEF. The human rights organization has also projected that in the next 12 months, 2.5 million children will suffer from chronic diarrhea, 1.3 million from pneumonia, and 280,000 from severe malnutrition.

These projections are based off the massive destruction of the country produced by the recent crisis, which has caused immeasurable damage to Yemen’s infrastructure and has prompted the United Nations to declare that the country now stands on “the edge of civil war.”

Yemen, a country of 25 million which contains numerous religious and ethnic factions, has long been a breeding ground for violent extremism, producing some of the worst known-terrorists in recent history, such as Osama Bin-Laden. The recent conflict in Yemen represents one manifestation of the ethnic and religious tension which characterizes Yemenese society, which exploded into full-blown fighting when the Houthi’s (an Iran-backed Shi’a rebel group from the North) forced Sunni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa in February. Mr. Hadi is now seeking refuge in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, while his country bears the near-daily brunt of attacks on the part of Houthi rebel groups and an Arab-backed coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and including Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain.

Yemen’s healthcare system, which was in poor condition prior to the recent fighting, has been especially hard-hit as a result of the crisis, which has resulted in dwindling medical supplies and the destruction of numerous hospitals throughout the country. A blockade by the Arab coalition, and restrictions that were placed on the commercial import of fuel, food, and medical supplies by the international community have helped to exacerbate the country’s healthcare problems, making it impossible for the approximate 90% of Yemenis who depend upon these supplies to gain access.

Aid workers also say that the crisis has contributed to a rising number of preventable deaths, with an increasing number of children dying from relatively minor illnesses, such as strep throat. According to the World Health Organization, an inability to access even basic medical care, like obstetrical support during childbirth, and the closing of national programs to fight diseases such as tuberculosis, has caused a surge in the number of people who require urgent medical care, which stood at 8.6 million in March. In addition to lack of supplies, the frequent droppings of bombs and raiding of hospitals carried out by Houthi groups have led to the closure of over 158 health facilities. According to officials, this has contributed to the deaths of 470,000 children under the age of five, as well as the outbreak of diseases such as polio and measles throughout the country.

As conflict continues to spiral out of control in Yemen, humanitarian organizations have begun to adjust their response to the country’s humanitarian and health crisis, which many officials believe to be getting worse. According to Dr. Ahmed Shadoul, WHO’s Representative to Yemen, “Yemen’s health system is on the verge of breakdown, and it is only thanks to the heroic efforts of the country’s health workers, the resilience of its brave people and the tireless efforts of national and international humanitarian organizations that any semblance of health care is being provided.”

In order to attempt to hold this fragile structure of Yemen’s healthcare service together, the WHO released a revised Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan on Friday, June 17. The Revised Plan calls for $152 million to enable the WHO and its partners to meet the health needs of 15 million Yemeni citizens, whose health and livelihoods continue to be devastated as their country devolves into violence.

Ana Powell

Sources: The Guardian, UNICEF, Washington Post, World Health Organization
Photo: UN Multimedia


On June 15, 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged the international community to work towards brokering lasting peace in Yemen, a country caught in a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Mr. Ban told reporters, “The region simply cannot sustain another open wound like Syria and Libya. We must find a way to end the suffering and begin the long road to peace.” The conflict has ravaged the poorest gulf nation and displaced more than one million people. The U.N. relief arm has therefore called for over US $1B in aid to support the country from completely collapsing.

One of the side effects of the devastating civil war in Yemen is the escalating health crisis. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 15 million Yemenis are in dire need of health services. Those services become even harder to provide due to at least 53 health facilities being damaged – including 17 hospitals, as well as the Operations Room of the Ministry of Health in Sana’a, which manages all the emergency operations in Yemen.

The lack of adequate medical treatment, combined with terrified fleeing civilians leaving behind uncovered drinking water, has led to outbreaks of many diseases including malaria, pneumonia, diarrheal diseases, and dengue fever. Al-Khedhar Nasser Laswar, director of the Aden province’s Ministry of Health Office, stated that since the start of the conflict, over 4000 people have contracted dengue fever and over 140 people have died.

Dengue fever is endemic with annual spikes in the summer months. According to the latest WHO situation report of Yemen, last year’s dengue fever trended 55 cases by week 20. This year, over 300 cases had been reported in the same time frame. As the political situation worsens, those numbers have significantly increased with 38 new cases in week 24 (June 2015) of this year alone.

Unfortunately, providing adequate treatment is not the most daunting challenge health workers face. Aref Ahmed Ali, a coordinator of Yemen’s malaria control program said, “We do not know whether these fevers are coronavirus or something else.” The lack of medical equipment has made proper disease diagnosis currently unmanageable.

As patients enter the hospital, the inability to properly diagnose them has led to cases where some individuals have died within 24 hours of contracting acute fevers. This is on top of those suffering from dengue fever and typhoid. Such has caused alarming concern to spread among healthcare workers and patients alike.

The current health crisis in Yemen is a disaster and will continue to decline unless more aid is sent. Healthcare workers are in urgent need of trauma kits, vaccines, medical and surgical supplies, and fuel to run hospitals. The main concern of these workers is the well-being of their patients, who are also suffering from acute food shortages, crippling their natural ability to fight diseases.

Currently, WHO has revised its humanitarian response plan for June 2015 and requested a total of US $152M to meet the needs of the 15 million Yemenis they hope to serve. WHO’s response to the health crisis in Yemen has been supported by the governments of Japan, Russia, Finland and the Central Emergency Response Fund.

The United States must also answer the call and send foreign aid to help fight the escalating health crisis in Yemen. If the U.S. does not respond, the international community will have to be ready to deal with another full blown humanitarian crisis, perhaps worse than Syria and Libya as Mr. Ban has warned.

– Adnan Khalid

Sources: Al Jazeera, Reuters, UN 1, UN 2, World Health Organization 1, World Health Organization 2
Photo: Malaysian insider

With the outbreak of conflict in Yemen, health centers have to shut down. Forces continue to attack hospitals and health care centers. There are medical shortages as the conflict hinders the delivery of medical supplies. As a result, children cannot receive the crucial vaccines and treatments they need to fight communicable diseases.

Vaccines save 2.5 million children worldwide from preventable diseases. Without basic vaccines, about 1.5 million children die. There are already cases of Measles reported in Yemen. Doctors are worried about reports of other diseases like Polio. If children in Yemen continue to not receive the vaccines, then these two diseases could continue to spread.

Parents are hesitant to take their children to health care centers to get the vaccines because the centers continue to be targets for attack, and because just getting there is dangerous. That leaves the health workers going into the field to vaccinate children. This can make it difficult to properly track how much of the child population has been vaccinated.

Another often overlooked aspect of vaccinating children is the protection of the vaccines themselves. Doctors have to make sure that vaccine centers maintain a supply of the vaccines needed. However, the conflict can make it difficult for WHO officials to deliver the medical supplies to the vaccine centers. Fuel shortages also cause problems, as there needs to be enough to ensure that the vaccines have the proper cold chain needed.

Issues like this can limit the number of children that can be reached and vaccinated. If supplies cannot be replenished or maintained, then it becomes difficult to keep children safe from diseases.

Contributing to the issue is food insecurity. Before the civil war, Yemen was already importing most of its food. Now, with conflict preventing food from being delivered, Yemen is struggling to feed its people. Without the nutrients to stay healthy and prevent malnutrition, the children’s immune systems are at a higher risk for contracting diseases.

Diseases could spread rapidly, as children in Yemen do not have access to enough food and clean water, people live in close proximity in refuge areas, and there is limited health access. The WHO workers try to combat the spread with consistent monitoring of medical supplies and going out and finding those who need the vaccines.

– Katherine Hewitt

Sources: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, UN News Centre, World Health Organization,
Photo: Twitter