CARE: Yemen’s women and children will starve without urgent assistance

Berlin, April 10, 2017 – Over 17 million people in Yemen face serious famine, warns CARE International. “The humanitarian situation is catastrophic. Many people report that their children don’t have enough to drink and eat only one meal per day. As the war and blockade continues, a famine is inevitable,” said CARE Secretary General Karl-Otto Zentel, who has just returned from Yemen.

More than 60 percent of the population is affected by food insecurity, with some 462,000 children suffering from acute malnutrition. People urgently need food, water and safe accommodation. “The international community must urgently provide more funding to save the lives of countless women, men and children. Together with parties to the conflict, a quick and sustainable political solution to the conflict must be worked on immediately,” says Zentel. Nearly two billion euros are needed to reach 12 million people in Yemen with humanitarian aid, but only 6.6% of this has been funded. “The scale of poverty, hunger and displacement in Yemen is unprecedented. The longer these needs go unmet, the greater the impact on people in the country, and ultimately the stability of the Middle East.”

CARE is calling on the conflict parties to abolish the blockade preventing food and vital imports from reaching people in need. Continued warfare and ongoing attacks on civilian infrastructure have made humanitarian access difficult. “Relief goods must be able to move freely in the country. There must be an end to the destruction of access roads so that life-saving relief can reach people,” says Marten Mylius, CARE’s Emergency Coordinator in the Middle East, who has also recently returned from Yemen. So far, the main parties to the conflict have shown little interest in a political solution, with the civilian population of Yemen suffering starvation, displacement and death as a consequence. The obstruction of humanitarian aid must cease immediately and financial support to relief efforts urgently increased. This is the only way through which a famine will be averted.

CARE’s work:
Since the escalation of the conflict, CARE has already assisted over 1.3 million people with vital food and water.. Together with local partner organizations, CARE has repaired water sources and installed new water tanks that help to shorten the distance to water points for women and girls. In addition, CARE encourages women and girls, who are greatly affected by the conflict through training and economic empowerment programs.


CARE has spokespeople available. To arrange an interview, contact:

Shaughn McArthur
Advocacy and Government Relations Advisor | CARE Canada | 613.286.0821