Yemen: Acute Malnutrition January - July 2020 and Projections for August - December 2020 and January - March 2021
Acute malnutrition hits record levels in Yemen with a devastating toll on children under five
01.01.2021 > 31.12.2021
January - July 2020 
August - December 2020 
January - March 2021 (north) 



& next steps


How Severe, How Many and When: Over 2.25 million cases of children aged 0 to 59 months, and more than a million cases of pregnant and lactating women, are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in the course of 2021 in Yemen. Out of the 35 zones included in the IPC Acute Malnutrition (IPC AMN) current analysis, two zones were classified in Critical (IPC AMN Phase 4), 26 in Serious (IPC AMN Phase 3) and the remaining seven zones in Alert (IPC AMN Phase 2) during the period of January – July 2020. The situation was projected to deteriorate further during the period of August – December 2020: the number of zones in IPC AMN Phase 4 was expected to increase to 13. An additional analysis of 22 zones in the north for which data is available shows that, during the period of January – March 2021, seven zones will be in Serious (IPC AMN Phase 3) and the remaining 15 zones will be in Critical (IPC AMN Phase 4). This additional projection analysis was only possible for the north since, according to the IPC protocols, projections can only be carried out up to 12 months from data collection.

Where: Acute malnutrition is a major public health problem in several parts of the country, with 80% of the zones in IPC AMN Phase 3 or above during the analysis period of January – July 2020. With Critical levels of acute malnutrition, Taiz Lowland and Hajjah Lowland were in IPC AMN Phase 4 during the period of January to July 2020. While these two zones remained in IPC AMN Phase 4, the acute malnutrition situation was projected to further deteriorate and the following 11 zones were projected to move to IPC AMN Phase 4 during the period of January – March 2021: Abyan Lowland, Lahj lowland, Al Jawf, Al-Mahweet Lowland, Hodeidah Highland, Hodeida Lowland, Marib Rural, Raymah, Sa’ada Highland, Sa’ada Lowland, Taiz Highland, and West Dhamar.

Why: The major contributing factors to the acute malnutrition situation include: (1) High prevalence of communicable diseases (with 2 in 5 children suffering from diarrhoea in the north  and 1 in 4 children affected by diarrhoea in the south, while about 60% of children in the north and 25% of children in the south are affected by malaria/fever); (2) Elevated levels of acute food insecurity (with all 22 zones projected to be in IPC Acute Food Insecurity Phase 3 or above in the north and 17 of the 19 zones projected to be in IPC Acute Food Insecurity Phase 3 or above in the south); (3) Poor Infant and Young Child Feeding practices (with only about 40% in the north and about 50% in the south meeting minimum dietary diversity requirements, while exclusive breastfeeding prevalence being less than 35% in the north and less than 25% in the south); (4) Poor access to nutrition and health services (limited access due to conflict in several zones and decline in access and utilization of health and nutrition services as a result of COVID-19); (5) Poor water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are a major concern in all zones. Additionally, the direct and indirect effect of COVID-19 (e.g. reduction in remittances, reduced access to markets, difficulty maintaining employment, etc.), and economic shocks, such as delayed salary payments and conflict, have a compounding effect on acute malnutrition.

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