Cholera, malnutrition and COVID-19 devastate Yemen
“And to walk with a brother to meet his needs is dearer to me than observing i‘tikaaf in this mosque – meaning the mosque of Madinah – for a month.” (Al Tabaraani)
£100 – Provide essential treatment for malnutrition and cholera for 35 people.
£80 – Provide a hygiene and protection pack to last a family-of-seven for one month, including soap, masks, bleach, gloves, hand sanitizer, and cleaning products.
£75 – Provide a family-of-seven at risk of malnutrition with a nutritious food parcel to last one month.
£70 - Provide 25 people at risk of dehydration, disease and starvation, with fresh, clean drinking water.
For six long, brutal years, Yemenis have been ripped apart by war. The country has been wracked by the worst famine in a century, widespread cholera, and the most urgent humanitarian crisis in the world. And now, COVID-19 threatens to push Yemen over the brink.
According to the World Health Organisation, over half of Yemenis will contract coronavirus. This would be devastating enough to any country, but in Yemen where more than one in five people are dying as a result of COVID-19, the situation is bleak, and shows no sign of slowing down.
The 6 year-long conflict in Yemen has gutted the healthcare system. Half of all health facilities have been destroyed, and hospitals have next to no equipment that can help treat COVID-19 patients.
Testing is almost non-existent in Yemen, but with nearly 100 people a day being laid to rest after suffering from coronavirus-like symptoms, it is clear that the virus is sweeping through Yemen unabated.
Left at home to die
Hospitals in Yemen are completely overwhelmed. People are routinely turned away, and those who end up getting a hospital bed find the medicine and equipment they need is simply not there. Eight in every ten COVID-19 related deaths in Yemen happen at home.
80 per cent of Yemenis need humanitarian help, at a time when international funding has been withdrawn. Millions displaced by the conflict have no lifeline and are living in crowded camps with no electricity, food, water, or hygiene facilities, conditions which mean COVID-19 will spread with ease.
The head of the United Nations Refugee Agency in Yemen, Jean-Nicolas Beuze, said: “Cases are multiplying fast while international aid agencies are being forced to abandon critical programmes. Coronavirus may be the last straw to break the camel’s back.”
What we’re doing
More than 20 million Yemenis are food insecure and simply don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We’ve been on the ground getting emergency food assistance to thousands of people who have no home and no way to get a sustainable source of food.
Through our recent emergency food assistance programme, we provided over 3,000 people with nutritious food parcels to last the whole month. Each family received 75 kg flour, 5kg rice, 2.5 kg sugar, 1kg dates, 1kg salt, 8 litres of vegetable oil, and 36 cans of beans.
We have also targeted Yemen throughout our COVID-19 emergency response, and have distributed hygiene kits to the most vulnerable people at risk of catching the virus.
In the coming months, we’ll be continuing to provide essential food parcels, as well as clean water, shelter and vital medical aid.
Yemen needs you. Now.
If we don’t act now, the situation in Yemen will be irrecoverable. Having already suffered from conflict, a cholera pandemic, mass displacement and malnutrition, COVID-19 threatens to tip Yemen past breaking point.
With winter on the horizon and flooding ever more likely, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis looks set to become even more harsh, with thousands more families forced out of their homes, left to fight the cold and COVID-19 alone.
The situation is critical
Yemen can’t wait
Why give through Human Appeal?
Human Appeal has been changing lives through our projects in Yemen since 2014, and we have maintained a country office in the capital of Sana’a since 2016. The breakout of civil war in 2015 brought home the need for us to expand our operations and we have helped over 900,000 people during the course of the conflict, primarily through health projects and emergency food aid to tackle malnutrition.
As a sign of how the need has grown since the start of the conflict, in the last quarter of 2019 more than half of the people we supported worldwide were in Yemen.
Human Appeal’s work in Yemen
Human Appeal has been working in Yemen since 2014. Since the outbreak of the conflict, your donations have provided food, healthcare, and medical supplies to over 900,000 of the most vulnerable Yemenis.
24 million people are still in desperate need of humanitarian aid. Join us in continuing to provide vital aid in this deepening crisis.
Zainab is a mother-of-four who was forced to flee her home in Al Hudaydah; now she lives with her family in a camp in Aden.
“We are a big family, but we live in a small tent – me, my husband, and our four children in one space,” she said. “My husband isn’t able to work because of his backache, and my younger son is the only one who earns any money. He tries to provide us with everything, but it’s still not enough. He also works on the side, selling ice on the street to cover the cost of my heart medicine.
“We have to ration our meals – if we eat breakfast, we skip lunch. We only eat once or twice a day. We only get one or two bottles of water per day.
“At the end of Ramadan, I got sick. I had a fever, couldn’t taste food or smell. I would shiver, cough, and I couldn’t move. In the hospital they thought I had malaria, but the medicine they gave me didn’t improve my health.
“Then I was diagnosed with COVID-19, and my family was very worried about me. They would spend night and day at my bedside – one injecting my medicine, and the other providing food. I was very scared because I know that people die from coronavirus, and I was worried about what would happen to my children. I tried to keep my distance from my family to avoid spreading it to them.
“We really suffered because the clinic was outside the camp, and very expensive – we had to borrow money from relatives just to get treatment.
“But more than the money, I was just scared for my children. Most days we only ate bread and tea, but Alhamdulilah.
“My message to Human Appeal supporters is to not forget the displaced families here, and across Yemen. A lot of children have to beg for money just to feed their siblings.”
Please donate, and help us to treat and protect families like Zainab’s.