Yemen: Urgent support needed
Six years since the outbreak of conflict in Yemen, Yemeni men, women and children are struggling to survive.
For local families, simply getting enough food to eat has become increasingly difficult across the country. People’s livelihoods have been destroyed by the conflict and opportunities to earn a living devastated by the fallout. With a lack of money and food, a staggering 9.6 million people are one step away from famine.
With the ongoing impact of the war on local services and the economy, growing up in Yemen is immensely challenging. For babies and young children in particular, levels of malnutrition are incredibly high. This has increased with each year of conflict, and 2020 has seen the biggest deterioration in this situation.
According to the latest figures from the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition Report, there are now fears that malnutrition is set to increase, with predictions that nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five will suffer from acute malnutrition this year. Of these, up to 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.
Islamic Relief is helping to reduce the effects of acute malnutrition among under five-year-olds and pregnant and breastfeeding women in refugee, internally displaced and host populations.
We provide preventative and treatment nutrition services to 150 health facilities and in 484 food distribution points across Yemen.
“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 Layla, who describes how she could not breastfeed her 18-month-old daughter as a result of malnutrition.
“My husband used to work in Saudi Arabia, but he came back to Yemen without a job, so we have no major source of income. This made our lives very tough. We had no basic necessities to feed our children, and if we were lucky, we would have one meal in the whole day.”
“On top of this, we live in Althaher village which is very remote. We have to walk many kilometres to reach the health facility due to the fuel crisis. The ongoing war has meant our lives turned from bad to worse” says Yasmeen’s father.
Yasmeen was admitted to an inpatient health clinic supported by Islamic Relief, where she was treated for severe malnutrition. She was given a course of antibiotics, as well as supplements which help children gain weight. As her condition began to improve, she was referred to Islamic Relief’s outpatient clinic, where she was regularly monitored and given the healthcare support she needed to make a full recovery.
“My wife and I felt very hopeless and deeply sad when we saw Yasmeen struggling with poor health. Alhamdulillah now she is very healthy thanks to Allah and to the generous support of Islamic Relief. We thank them, and hope that they continue their support in order to save the lives of other children. Many children in Yemen are at the edge of death due to malnutrition and desperately need help,” says Yasmeen’s father.
With the worsening food crisis in Yemen and fears of a very worrying future, we urgently need your help to increase our humanitarian support, which is helping to ease suffering for many children.
With your support, we will be able to ensure vulnerable families have enough to eat, as many currently do not know where their next meal is coming from.