Yemen: 6 years of suffering
Islamic Relief has supported 13 million people in Yemen amid a dire humanitarian situation
As Yemen enters its seventh year of conflict, a new Islamic Relief publication highlights how we have remained by the sides of vulnerable people in the country throughout every difficulty.
Read more in our Yemen report here.
Even before the conflict began, Yemen was one of the poorest countries in the Arab region. Now, more people in Yemen need humanitarian aid than in any other country in the world.
Islamic Relief, which began working in Yemen in 1998, has continued providing vital assistance throughout the violence. 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.
A humanitarian crisis
The humanitarian situation in Yemen is dire: 80% of the population do not know where their next meal is coming from, 75% 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.
Yemenis are facing a severe food crisis, with over 40% of the population at risk of starvation.
“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,” says 62-year-old Abdulhakeem, from Taiz.
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 – reaching more than 2.3 million people last year alone.
“Islamic Relief have put happiness on our faces, and renewed our hope. While other organisations gave up on us, they never have,” he says.
Tackling malnutrition in children
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,” says her mother, Layla.
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 support she needed to make a full recovery.
Life-changing water and hygiene programmes
Over two-thirds of Yemenis require support to meet their basic water, sanitation and hygiene needs – including 12.6 million 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 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, with financial support to help to ease their burden.
Advocating for change in Yemen
As well as our lifesaving 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.
‘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.