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Conflict & War

What it is, and how we help

What is conflict & war?

A conflict is a fight between armed troops. War is the hostility towards other parties issued officially by governments/states. Conflicts are part of war, though not every war sees actual conflict, nor is every conflict connected to war.

Conflict/armed conflict: when armed force is used by an organised actor against another organised actor, or against civilians, resulting in at least 25 battle-related deaths in one calendar year. The definition includes three types of conflict:

  • State-based conflict takes place between two states (inter-state conflict), or between one state and one or more rebel groups (civil conflict)
  • Non-state conflict is fought between two organized, armed actors, of which neither is the government of a state
  • One-sided violence is perpetrated by an organized armed group, either a state’s military forces or an armed group, against civilians. 

How Save the Children help children affected by conflict & war?

In general, when responding to conflict and war, Save the Children will:

Child protection:

  • Child Friendly Spaces: To give children a sense of normality and recover from distressing experiences
  • Reuniting children who have been separated from their parents or guardians in the violence


  • Delivering non-formal education and primary education via temporary learning centres
  • Rehabilitating or rebuilding schools which have been damaged during the conflict


  • Supporting or running health centres and hospitals and setting up remote outreach posts to ensure that children get the healthcare they need, wherever they are
  • Running Mobile Health & Nutrition Teams that provide primary healthcare to remote communities
  • Provide essential medical supplies, equipment and medicines, including solar power system equipment and fuel
  • Treating moderate cases of malnutrition in the community, and severe cases in specialised stabilisation centres

Food Security & Livelihoods:

  • Distributing unconditional cash and food vouchers to empower families to decide how to meet their own needs and feed their families using available local resources
  • Providing livestock, such as cows, to help replenish herds and recover livelihoods
  • Food distribution

Water, Sanitation & Hygiene:

  • Distributing hygiene kits and dignity kits to help children stay healthy and to curb the spread of disease
  • Carrying out Water Trucking to ensure that communities have access to clean drinking water
  • Training communities to be able to install and repair water systems, such as hand pumps, to ensure that they can maintain a constant supply of clean water
  • Constructing water points, emergency latrines, and bathing units, as well as running environmental sanitation activities, such as solid waste and drainage management to reduce the risk of disease outbreak


  • Providing winterisation kits, fuel, blankets, and warm clothes to help families stay warm when temperatures drop
  • Distributing core relief items such as new arrival kits, shelter kits, hygiene kits, cooking utensils and sleeping materials
  • Technical, Vocation, Education & Training Programme for youth

How we helped children in Yemen affected by conflict

Sara* in Yemen

Eleven-year-old Sara* is from Tor Albaha district in Lahj governorate, and she used to have to collect water for her family every morning. Filling and carrying the heavy jerry cans was not the only challenge - she also needed to travel on mountainous and rough roads in in one of the hottest areas in Yemen to access the water point. Despite wanting to get a good education, Sara had to miss morning classes because she was collecting water, and she therefore fell behind in school.

Sara’s life significantly changed following support from Save the Children which built a brand new ten-square-metre water tank powered by solar energy for the community. Water is now supplied through the old water network which makes it much easier for the families to access clean water

* Name changed