It is not too late – life-saving interventions continue in Yemen

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Tragically, the crisis in Yemen continues to be one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time; 19 million people – two thirds of the population – need humanitarian support and 7 million people do not know where their next meal will come from. DEC member charities are continuing to work across all areas of Yemen, with funds raised from the DEC Yemen Crisis Appeal and other sources, and lives are being saved.

Two years of war have brought Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the world, to breaking point. Millions have had to flee their homes, they have lost their jobs and the economy has almost collapsed. Hospitals, schools and farms have been destroyed.

And now, a country on its knees, has been hit with a cholera outbreak. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 240* people have died from the spread of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera in just the last three weeks, out of a total of 23,400* infections. Children whose bodies have been weakened by malnutrition are the most vulnerable to cholera or acute watery diarrhoea and there are 2.2 million malnourished children in Yemen. (*figures accurate as at 20 May)

DEC member charities are working tirelessly to help as many people as possible. By the end of March, they reported that together they had reached around 200,000 people with donations from the DEC appeal and aim to reach up to an additional 1.3 million people by July 2017, operational challenges permitting.

Saleh Saeed, CEO of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), said: “The extent of the challenges to help the people of Yemen are huge. The biggest problem is access; most of the main roads are blocked off and it is very difficult to get to the large numbers of people in need. There are also delays with some of the planned programme activity due to the authorities being slow to sign off permits. The country is almost completely dependent on imported food and getting food into the country has been delayed due to damage at the main port in Hodeida. All this is contributing to an enormously challenging situation for local aid workers.

“However, even in some of the worst conflict zones such as the city of Taiz, DEC member charities are managing to reach thousands of people. Due to the incredible bravery and determination of the teams on the ground, women and children have been screened and treated for malnutrition, food and food vouchers have been distributed and safe clean drinking water has been provided to families.”

The DEC Yemen Crisis appeal was launched on 13 December 2016 and to date has raised a total of £23 million from the British public, trusts, corporations and including £5 million funds from the UK government through its UK Aid Match Scheme. With these funds, DEC member charities and their partners are providing a wide variety of aid to people across 7 governorates of Yemen. For example,

Age International and its partner in Yemen has provided better access to health and nutrition for 1,728 people in internally displaced camps (IDPs), reached 1,468 people with health promotion messages and treated 803 people suffering with non-communicable diseases in Hadramaut.

  • British Red Cross has helped 87,374 people with food vouchers in Taiz. CAFOD and its in country partner has helped 3,623 people with nutritional support in Abyan and Aden, including screening and treating children for severe acute malnutrition.

  • CARE International UK has provided 2,742 people in Amran and Abyran with unconditional food vouchers and cash-transfers.

  • Oxfam GB has provided 12,600 people with unconditional cash-transfers and vouchers and has distributed hygiene kits to 15,344 people.

  • Save the Children has reached 14,670 caregivers with nutrition messages, screened 5,688 people for acute malnutrition and treated 5,538 people for communicable diseases and violence related injuries.