Judith Escribano

Written by

March 26, 2021


Yemen has now entered its sixth year of conflict.

Even before the conflict began, Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Middle East.

Today, with 24.1 million people across Yemen in need of humanitarian aid, there are more people in Yemen in need of humanitarian assistance than in any other country in the world.

Islamic Relief, which began working in Yemen in 1998, has continued providing vital assistance throughout the conflict.

Thanks to your support, we have been a lifeline for families facing conflict, famine and disease.

So far, we have supported 13 million people, but today the humanitarian needs in the country are graver than ever.

 

Yemen: An ongoing struggle

Yemen
A child patient at a local hospital in Aden, Yemen.

The humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire: 80% of the population do not know where their next meal is coming from.

75% of the population urgently need healthcare, unemployment is rife and 12 million children are considered vulnerable.

Islamic Relief works with communities to provide them with food, clean water, accommodation and essential medical care, as well as supporting vulnerable children.

Find out more about our vital humanitarian and development programming in our report, Islamic Relief in Yemen.

 

On the ground: “Islamic Relief has never given up on us”

Yemen
A young child with food donated through our Ramadan programme.

Yemenis are facing a severe food crisis, with over 40% of the population at risk of starvation.

This is a reality that 62-year old Abdulhakeem from Taiz knows all too well:

My wife and I saw extremely difficult days, to the point that many times we would have nothing in the kitchen to feed our children… We were plunged into a devastating hunger.

As one of the UN World Food Programme’s biggest partners, we distribute food vouchers and monthly food packages that are a lifeline for families like Abdulhakeem’s. In fact, together we help feed one in six of the population in Yemen.

Alhamdulillah, we reached more than 2.3 million people last year alone:

Islamic Relief has put happiness on our faces, and renewed our hope. While other organisations gave up on us, it never has. (Abdulhakeem, Yemen)

It’s down to your support that we’ve been able to continue serving families in dire crisis like Abdulhakeem’s.

 

Offering preventative care: Tackling malnutrition in children

Yemen
Yasmeen who was suffering from malnutrition.

Across Yemen, we have been working with communities and health facilities to provide preventative care and treatment to help combat malnutrition in over 330,000 children.

Among them is 18-month-old Yasmeen, who was suffering from the effects of severe malnutrition until we assisted her family:

When Yasmeen cries, I give her milk which is very diluted with water. I have no milk for her. I thought it was enough, however, she wasn’t getting the nourishment she needed and I nearly lost her. (Layla, Yasmeen’s mother)

Thankfully, Yasmeen was admitted to a health clinic supported by Islamic Relief, where she was treated for severe malnutrition. The infant was then regularly monitored and given the healthcare she needed to make a full recovery.

 

Life-changing programmes: Offering water and hygiene care

Yemen
Yemeni children accessing safe drinking water.

Over two-thirds of Yemenis require support to meet their basic water, sanitation and hygiene needs – including 12.6 million people who are in acute need.

“The health facility where I work lacked access to safe and adequate water. There was no functional water source,” says Abdulmajeed, from Al-Batana, where clean water is scarce.

Islamic Relief equipped the main water well of the health facility with a solar-powered system and repaired the broken water sources. It is a sustainable solution that is also helping the environment.

We provide communities with reliable water sources, which has helped change the lives of over 800,000 people. We also teach people good hygiene practices, which help prevent the spread of water-borne diseases.

Islamic Relief has worked hard to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and will continue to do so, assisting healthcare facilities so they are better prepared to support patients.

We have also been an economic lifeline for vulnerable families who have lost their livelihoods during the pandemic, offering financial support to help ease their struggles.

 

Facing the future: Advocating for change

Yemen
One of the millions of children across Yemen in critical need of aid.

As well as running our life-saving programmes in Yemen, we also work to address the root cause of the suffering and advocate to restore peace in the country.

We advocate to protect civilians and aid workers, to ensure there is enough funding for critical life-saving programmes and for food, fuel and humanitarian aid to be able to move safely across the country.

As one of the major agencies operating in Yemen, we use our position to call on the international community to press for an end to the conflict.

Islamic Relief welcomes the new US administration’s decision in February 2021 to reverse the previous US administration’s decision to designate the Ansarallah group that controls much of Yemen as a foreign terrorist organisation.

This designation threatened to cut off foreign aid to millions of Yemenis. It would have restricted the movement of essential aid and could have had devastating consequences for all the communities we serve.

We are proud to have been one of the many aid agencies working in Yemen who supported the call for the United States to revoke this decision.

As an organisation, we will continue to serve communities across Yemen during their time of need – no matter how uncertain the future looks for this vulnerable community.

Thank you for helping us to continue providing such critical support.

 

Our newest report: Islamic Relief in Yemen is dedicated to the memory of our dear colleague Hamdi Abo Abdullah Al-Ahmadi, an Islamic Relief aid worker who was killed in 2019 while trying to deliver aid in Hodeida, Yemen.

Read Islamic Relief in Yemen’ today to learn more about the crisis in Yemen and donate to our Yemen Crisis appeal to help save lives.

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