Nearly 9 million people across Yemen have been reached with emergency cash assistance in the fifth payment cycle by UNICEF to help meet their urgent needs as the conflict in the country enters its fifth year.

In August 2017, the Emergency Cash Transfer Project was started in Yemen to provide 1.5 million of the most vulnerable families with cash assistance. The cash transfers have been a lifeline for families whose situation has been aggravated by the current conflict that has devastated Yemen and worsened the economic situation. The cash assistance helps the poorest families cover their basic needs in food, health, nutrition and education, among others.

The cash transfers that were carried out from 16 June to 15 July 2019 is the 5th payment cycle of the Yemen Emergency Cash Transfer Project (ECTP). The payment is made on a quarterly basis and on an average, a family receives about 30 USD paid in Yemeni Rial, to help them meet their most urgent needs.

Ms Fatima Hussain Al-Tayari, a 55-year old widow and a mother of five children who lives at the outskirts of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a said:

“With the money I get from the project, I buy wheat, sugar, oil and other food stuff. Although the amount is not big, it still covers living and food expenses. We eagerly wait for this amount of money just like we wait for lunch and dinner.”

The ECT project is funded by the World Bank through the International Development Association; funds from DFID through the World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund; and with co-financing by the US State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs.

Most families in Yemen have depleted their financial resources. To survive, many have been forced to resort to other means such as early marriage and child labour. Many children are fighting in a war, not of their making. The emergency cash assistance helps families stay alive, but the needs are enormous and much more needs to be done.

To alleviate the suffering of children, the war must end to allow for recovery and a return to normal life. In the meantime, the international community should continue to provide the resources needed to respond to the urgent needs of children across all sectors.