Yemeni children are becoming a lost generation

Yemeni children are becoming a lost generation

War Child's new report, Being Kept Behind, reveals the catastrophic impact it is having on children's fundamental right to an education.

The devastating war in Yemen has just entered its fifth year. 

And why it's time for the UK to act. 

Two million children aren't in school in Yemen. 

That's more than a quarter of the school-age population. 

Girls are disproportionately losing out; 36% compared to 24% of boys unable to attend school. 

Our Country Director for Yemen, Mona Saleh, says "children are having their futures stolen by being denied access to education". 

More than 2,000 schools have been left unfit for purpose in Yemen.
More than 2,000 schools have been left unfit for purpose in Yemen.

The war is creating a lost generation 

Over 2,000 schools aren't fit for purpose often because they've been damaged by the war or are being used by armed parties. 

Airstrikes and fighting have taken a heavy toll on communities. 

Where schools are still standing, they lack basic equipment, and many teachers haven't been paid a proper salary for years. 

The economic toll of the conflict has led to an increase in child labour and child marriage. The number of children being recruited into armed parties is at a new high. 

Yasser*, a teacher in Yemen, told us that "children who are not attending schoolwork as farmer's assistants, transport drinking water, get involved in armed parties and other business". 

Five years of war in Yemen have left a heavy toll on the country's children and schools.
War Child UK

Some children are so unable to cope with the stress of war they've developed dependencies on substances including tobacco and the drug khat.

Our research has shown that many are exhibiting behaviours associated with mental health conditions. For many children, a life free from the terror of conflict is a distant memory.

You can help the children of Yemen 

We know there's still time to help children in Yemen build brighter futures because we're helping right now. 

Your support has helped to rebuild schools devastated by the conflict and delivered backpacks, water tanks and text books to children and their schools. 

This allowed 4,000 children to re-enrol and start building the skills needed to create brighter futures. 


Eshraq* - a 14-year old girl whose school was destroyed - told us her favourite thing about her rehabilitated school is the paintings on the wall and access to a private bathroom. 

She said: "I would like to be a teacher in the future. I would like the world to rebuild the damaged schools in Yemen." 

What should happen now? 

The UK Government and most of the international community have been vocal defenders of education as a fundamental human right. 

But these words now need to be backed up with action. 

Our report calls on the international community to: 

  1. Encourage all states to sign up to the Safe Schools Declaration and to implement this in full. 
  2. Fully fund the UN appeals for education to restore schooling and remove barriers to education. 
  3. Press all parties to the conflict to comply with their obligations under international law. 
  4. Support all international efforts to investigate violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights law and take every effort to ensure those found to be committing atrocities are held to account. 
  5. Immediately cease arms and military support to all parties to the conflict. 
  6. Without rapid action, Yemen is at risk of losing an entire generation of future citizens and peacemakers. 

*the names of children and teachers in this blog have been changed to protect their identity. 

Support our work in Yemen

We're on the ground in Yemen delivering support services to children and families. You can help us to continue this vital work by donating to our work today.

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