Famine in Africa and Yemen: over 2 million children affected!

A total of over 2 million children are affected by the famine.

Because of the severe hunger crises in several African countries and in Yemen, children’s lives are in acute danger. Millions of children are malnourished in the Horn of Africa, in South Sudan, in the Lake Chad region, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Yemen. Worldwide, 22 million children are affected by hunger.

Many children and teenagers cannot go to school because they have to look for food. Millions of children need life-saving vaccines, medicines, and health care. We are currently experiencing one of the greatest hunger crises in history.

UNICEF is on site to provide the affected children with nutrition, clean water and health measures. We use your donations for this:

  • Peanut paste as a life-saving, ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF)
  • Malnutrition screenings
  • Health care such as vaccinations and medication for infections
  • Clean, safe drinking water and sanitary facilities to prevent diarrhea
  • Protection and care for children
  • Access to education


Democratic Republic of Congo

The children are displaced by ethnic violence and clashes between the army, militias and armed groups. This displacement and violence has led to a food and health crisis. Hundreds of thousands of children in the region no longer have access to medical care and education.

The conflict and the famine in the Congo have intensified in recent months, particularly in the Kasai province. A real tragedy is taking place here for the children: the danger of dying of hunger is extreme for them large.

Two million children in the Congo are severely malnourished. They cannot survive this crisis without our help – there is a risk of famine.


More than a million people have cholera, including around 250,000 young children. The cholera outbreaks are medicated as part of the emergency aid.

The dangerous diphtheria has spread again. Infectious disease can be fatal to unvaccinated children. UNICEF has therefore started a large vaccination campaign: 6,000 vaccination workers are on the move across the country.

Most of the UNICEF relief supplies are brought to Yemen via Hudaida. At least 300,000 children live in and around Hudaida. And millions of children across the country rely on these supplies to survive. Hudaida has been under fire since the beginning of June. The battles make the supply via this port extremely difficult.

1.8 million children in Yemen suffer from malnutritiong (also called malnutrition) and starving. 400,000 of them are even severely malnourished.

South Sudan

The government of South Sudan declared famine in parts of the country in February 2017. Because of the civil war that has been raging since 2013, over a million children are now displaced.

The announced famine was in the middle 2017 officially declared over. But more than five million people are still starving. These include over a million children under the age of five.

Diseases such as measles and malaria are a constant threat, especially for children. In addition, cholera occurs repeatedly in some parts of the country.

Somalia and Horn of Africa

Thousands of boys and girls are fleeing war, drought, hunger and disease.

Approximately 1.2 million children in Somalia do not have enough to eat. UNICEF estimates that 230,000 of them are even at risk of acute malnutrition.

Other countries in the Horn of Africa, such as Ethiopia and the north of Kenya, are also affected: UNICEF expects over 300,000 (Ethiopia) and 100,000 (Kenya) severely acutely malnourished children there.

Nigeria and Lake Chad region

As a result of attacks by the terrorist group Boko Haram and counter-offensives by the governments, millions of people in northeastern Nigeria and in the region around Lake Chad (Niger, Chad, Cameroon) are on the run.

4.4 million children alone urgently need shelter, security and food. The girls and boys are in danger of being recruited by the rebels and misused as soldiers, suicide bombers or war slaves.

At the same time, long-term aid must continue to better protect children from future crises. A young boy in Yemen is being examined here by a UNICEF assistant.
© UNICEF / UN050302 / Al-Zikri

As different as the countries and backgrounds are, they all have in common that the situation of the children is on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe.

Together with its partners, UNICEF is doing everything it can to expand aid quickly and prevent a tragedy like the one in Somalia in 2011.

UNICEF is on site in all affected countries and provides extensive help. With its partner organizations provides the organization for clean drinking water and takes care that children are examined, vaccinated and treated.

In addition, UNICEF sets up emergency schools and organizes psychosocial assistance so that the boys and girls not only survive, but can also have a childhood and a future in difficult circumstances.

Also the United Internet for UNICEF Foundation strongly supports the projects against the hunger crisis so that the children in Africa and Yemen have a future. Help us do it!

“This renewed famine has become a tragic reality in parts of South Sudan, as well as in Somalia, Nigeria and Yemen. Many families have exhausted all means that keep them alive, ”comments Tessa Page, United Internet for UNICEF Foundation Chair.

"Time is running out for more than a million children," said Anthony Lake, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund. "We can still save many lives." Help us!


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