Wednesday April 28, 2021

After years of intense conflict, Yemen is now struggling with one of the worst humanitarian crises in decades.

Right now, there are more people in need of humanitarian aid in Yemen than there are in any other country in the world.

Out of a population of 30 million, over 24 million people are relying on humanitarian aid to survive, with 13.5 million people (over 40% of the population) at risk of starvation.

With around 75% of the population live below the poverty line, we’re working with communities across Yemen during their hour of need.

We provide people with food, clean water, shelter and essential medical care, as well as preparing communities for disaster and supporting vulnerable children.

Young children in Yemen accessing safe water.

Islamic Relief empowers people to achieve sustainable livelihoods, supports education and advocates on behalf of those in need. Islamic Relief also sponsors thousands of orphaned children, helping to meet their basic needs and making sure they can go to school.

Operating from our country office in Sana’a, Yemen, we have a team of more than 3,000 staff and volunteers, supporting operations in over 70% of the country.

Working in 17 out of Yemen’s 22 governorates, we serve communities across the whole country, including in hard-to-reach areas.

We’re a lifeline for thousands of families whose lives are impacted every day by the protracted crisis in Yemen, which is especially important given the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made already vulnerable communities at further risk of ill health and even death.


Islamic Relief: Caring for communities in Yemen

Dr Asma’a Al Kamil in Yemen.

“We don’t have the chance to treat many patients, because our hospital lacks medicine, equipment and staff,” says Dr Asma’a Al Kamil, a general physician at the rural hospital of Al Sharq, explaining that infectious and preventable diseases are spreading rapidly.

She explains how the situation in Yemen is getting worse, day by day:

The health situation in Yemen is deteriorating, especially after the war broke out in 2015. The majority of health workers have fled from rural areas to the cities, seeking better living conditions and leaving people living in the countryside without sufficient healthcare. They are suffering from preventable diseases because of a lack of healthcare support.

Torrential rain, a fuel crisis and Covid-19 have further exacerbated the humanitarian situation. According to the UN, only 51% of health facilities are fully functional due to damage, staff shortages and a lack of medical supplies. 

That’s why we’re working across the country to support communities in need.

Islamic Relief implemented a project in Hodeida, Dhamar, Amran and Sa’ada governorates to support health facilities with essential medication, medical supplies and equipment. The project also provides health workers with essential training and incentives to ensure health facilities function well.

The stipends we receive from Islamic Relief play an integral role in changing our lives for the better. They help us to continue delivering health services to the most vulnerable people.

The intervention of Islamic Relief helps put hospitals in a better position to meet healthcare needs. In the past, our hospital would only be able to manage to treat 20 patients a day. After the intervention of Islamic Relief, we are able to manage more than 80 cases. (Dr Asma’a).

Alhamdulillah, it’s thanks to your generous donations that we’ve been able to provide such critical care in Yemen.


Facing Covid-19 in Yemen: Supporting local families

Covid-19 has threatened to push many struggling families in Yemen over the edge, as they have lost livelihoods and loved ones and battled with a lack of information and basic medical services.

With the healthcare sector in Yemen already on the brink of collapse, many people with symptoms of the disease were unable to access treatment, while fear of contracting Coronavirus and the stigma attached to it prevented others from seeking medical attention.

Alhamdulillah, we’ve provided essential healthcare for thousands of people affected by the outbreak. We helped prevent the spread of the virus by distributing emergency hygiene items, facemasks, gloves and medical equipment to healthcare workers.

Islamic Relief also gave oxygen and personal protective equipment to healthcare facilities, and provided healthcare workers with training on infection prevention and control, and how best to care for patients with Covid-19.

We supported people in quarantine centres in Sana’a and Dhamar with ready-to-eat meals, hygiene and dignity kits. In addition, particularly vulnerable families received financial and livelihoods support through an emergency food assistance programme.

This enabled people such as father-of-seven Raheem, from Tawahee, to keep safe. Living in poverty, he struggles to provide for his family:

 Every day, I go to the market to see whether or not I can find work. I struggle in this way from dawn until the sunset. Sometimes I find work, and sometimes I don’t. I either go back home with something for my family to eat, or return empty-handed…

We live in just one room, but its ceiling is damaged. I have been trying to repair it for six years, but I can’t afford it because I do not have enough money. When it rains, we have to find shelter elsewhere.

We also lack access to water and are really struggling with a lack of electricity. We are going through very difficult circumstances to the point that I cannot even afford the most basic food and medicine. My wife has cervical cancer, and we cannot treat her. Whenever my children get sick, we struggle to send them to the nearest health facility.

The conflict has taken its toll on the family and the added pressure of Covid-19 had made life even more difficult:

The war has meant that life has become tough. Due to the severe poverty and starvation… Covid-19 made an already difficult situation even worse.

It has left me feeling devastated and depressed. Most of my neighbours’ conditions are equally as dire. The pandemic meant that we could not even go out to look for work. 

Thankfully, we were able to support Raheem, who now dreams of a better future for his family with the help of Islamic Relief:

Islamic Relief provided much-needed support. They provided me with food, helping me to feed my family during the pandemic. 

 I hope that my house is repaired and that my children can go to school and start studying, so that they may have a bright future.

Alhamdulillah, our team on the ground is offering a critical lifeline.

We’re working to support the collapsing healthcare system in Yemen, providing life-saving care to some of the world’s most vulnerable people. We assist health centres, hospitals, renal dialysis centres, prosthetic and physiotherapy centres, providing them with the equipment and training they so desperately need.

We strengthen the management of childhood illnesses and reproductive health programmes by training health workers.

We also provide health facilities with essential medication, laboratory solutions and vital equipment. This includes medical machines required for manufacturing artificial limbs and specialist equipment required for gynaecology, orthopaedics, paediatrics, psychiatry and more.

Thank you to those supporting our work in Yemen. You truly are life-savers.

© Copyright 2024 Islamic Relief Worldwide, Inc. All rights reserved.