Statement

Women and girls among the most vulnerable in Yemen

26 April 2017
Displaced women waiting to collect their dignity kits in Hajjah ©UNFPA/Yemen

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) would like to thank OCHA, the esteemed Governments of Sweden and Switzerland for organizing today’s landmark event on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. UNFPA is honored to participate in this event.

The crisis in Yemen, which escalated two years ago, has now evolved into the largest humanitarian crisis in the world – resulting in a particularly heavy toll on women and girls, who remain one of the most vulnerable population groups at risk, particularly with regard to their health and protection. 

The risk of famine and rising food shortages has left an estimated 1.1 million pregnant women malnourished, with dire consequences on newborns. This situation is threatening the lives of 52,800 women who risk developing complications during childbirth. Furthermore,   the health of an estimated 2.2 million women of childbearing age and girls may be at risk of harm.

This reality is exacerbated by an estimated 14.8 million people who lack access to basic healthcare of whom 8.8 million are living in severely underserved areas.

Distinguished Delegates,

Increasing rates of displacement and eroding protection mechanisms for women and girls have further weakened their positions in society and exposed them to violence and abuse. It is reported that incidents of gender-based violence has increased by more than 63 percent over the last two years.

In spite of the ongoing conflict, with the generous support of its donors, UNFPA has scaled-up its efforts, working in close partnership with humanitarian actors on the ground to reach more than one million people with life-saving reproductive health and gender-based violence services in 2016 alone. 

This year through the 2017 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, UNFPA will escalate its operations to reach 1.2 million in urgent need of life-saving services, including reproductive health, and protection including prevention and mitigation of gender based violence.  In carrying out its interventions UNFPA is thankful to the support of its donors, We continue to rely on the valued support of our donors in continuing our mission and enhancing the lives of the most under served.

Distinguished Delegates,

Against this backdrop and pressing humanitarian situation, UNFPA remains committed to protecting the rights of all Yemenis, particularly women and girls to ensure the extension of health, dignity, and protection during unsettling times. In this spirit we look forward to continued collaboration with all partners to ensure a strengthened humanitarian response for the people of the Republic of Yemen, particularly the most vulnerable and at risk.