Yemen

Five years on Yemenis yearn for a way out in the face of adversity

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It has been five very long, frightening and sorrowful years since the lives of Yemeni citizens were quite literally turned upside down.

Today, the situation in Yemen is one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades. It is the world’s largest human induced crisis and has seen armed conflict, displacement, risk of famine, disease outbreaks and severe economic decline.

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Even before the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Arab region. The many years of conflict have exacerbated this, leaving millions of Yemenis struggling to find food, water and basic health care.

“Every day, almost 16 million people wake up hungry. Even basic supplies are so scarce or expensive that families can’t put food on the table and mothers are so malnourished they cannot breastfeed their babies. These children, so weakened by hunger, are perfect prey for diseases like cholera and diarrhoea which drain them of the little strength they have left”, says Naser Haghamed, CEO of Islamic Relief Worldwide.

After almost five years of intense conflict in Yemen, an estimated 24 million people (around 80% of the population) are in need of humanitarian aid to survive. This is more than any other country in the world.

Finding food security for Ahmed’s family

Ahmed Hussain Mor’ie is 55 years old, lives with a disability and has been unemployed for 18 years. Without any source of income, Ahmed and his family have been displaced from their home in Mandhar to Al-Hudaidah city, where the family of nine are forced to live in a rented one bedroom house.

“While airstrikes were upon us, we managed to escape the village on the first day of Eid with only our clothes, walking long distances on foot and arrived at sunset unable to find transport to the nearest city, when a stranger showed kindness towards us and dropped us off”, says Ahmed.

What’s more, resources are extremely limited and the family struggle to meet their daily needs, which makes every aspect of life more of a challenge. When it comes to cooking, they struggle to find wood to light a fire and their only source of light at night comes from a single hand torch.

Working with the World Food Programme, Islamic Relief Yemen worked to ease Ahmed’s difficulties by providing his family with food packages every month. The packages, which consist of flour, beans, cooking oil, salt and sugar, are a lifeline for families like Ahmed’s. They’ve provided them with some security and hope for the future.

”The food we receive from this programme is really helping us. Without it we would have been facing even more difficulties”, says Ahmed.

What we’re doing and why the world needs to be doing more

Islamic Relief has been providing an emergency response since the conflict in Yemen started. This work has reached more than 3.4 million people in 2019 alone, spanning across many sectors including food aid, water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition and healthcare.

We’ve also worked hard to offer our help and support to orphans and to protect child welfare.

We're currently working to combat the spread of Covid-19. Working with UN agencies and local authorities, we have supported 269 families in quarantine and provided 90, 000 families with sanitation facilities.

For more information about our work in Yemen, please read our report here.

However, there's no doubt we still have a long way to go when it comes to supporting the people of Yemen.

"Despite the hard work, the cruel reality is that we simply cannot keep pace with the suffering. The international community has miserably failed to help the people of Yemen. History will not forget or forgive us... we have not honored basic standards of humanity and human dignity" says Naser Haghamed.

We are in urgent need of a just and long-lasting solution to ensure that the people of Yemen finally see an end to their suffering. Help us to be a lifeline for these people by donating to our Yemen Appeal.