Yemen | News | WHO and KSRelief continue fight against child malnutrition in Yemen

WHO in Yemen

WHO and KSRelief continue fight against child malnutrition in Yemen

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Cairo, 18 January 2021 – The World Health Organization (WHO) and the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) are continuing their joint fight against child malnutrition in Yemen by sustaining essential nutrition services and enhancing access to life-saving interventions for the most vulnerable populations.

Funded at US$ 5.5 million, the new partnership aims to treat 23 428 under-5 severely malnourished children with medical complications free of charge in 90 targeted therapeutic feeding centres across Yemen. Admission kits and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) kits will be dispatched to support the care of children admitted and their caregivers who will also receive nutrition counselling, making the total number of direct beneficiaries of the project 46 857 people.

The project targets all governorates classified at levels 3 (crisis) and 4 (emergency) according to the 2019 Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC). Priority will be given to 226 districts identified at high risk by the Nutrition Cluster, based on the most updated evidence and the IPC findings for 2020, because of their high levels of food insecurity, high population density, and vulnerable internally displaced and refugee populations.

The project will rehabilitate 45 out of the 90 therapeutic feeding centres while establishing 13 new centres to enhance access to treatment and health services in districts where acute malnutrition is a public health concern. A total of 1400 health workers will be skilled to ensure high quality services. 

“Thanks to the generous contributions of KSRelief, WHO will be able to provide these children with much needed, often life-saving assistance. The timely support is particularly welcome as Yemen faces unprecedented child malnutrition levels,” said Dr Adham Ismail, WHO Representative in Yemen.

The long-lasting support aims to benefit over 4.5 million children under 5 in the upcoming years, including children living in areas surrounding the targeted therapeutic feeding centres.

The partnership is part of a broader US$ 46 million agreement between WHO and KSRelief, signed in September 2020, that also included 3 other projects on COVID-19 preparedness and response, WASH, and the delivery of essential health services.

KSRelief was the main funding partner of WHO Yemen in 2019–2020. Since October 2019, the partnership between the two organizations has helped preserve Yemen's health system, including through support to the most vulnerable. Continuous support from KSRelief has allowed WHO to facilitate the provision of life-saving medicines, including treatment for patients with chronic, life-threatening conditions, such as cancer and kidney failure. The partnership has also supported maternal and child health, including assistance to pregnant women for safe birth deliveries.