More than FIVE YEARS OF WAR in Yemen has created what has been called the WORLD'S WORST HUMANITARIAN CRISIS.
It has been month after month of relentless misery for some of the poorest people on our planet, with deadly clashes and airstrikes forcing almost four million people to flee their homes.
More than 24 million people – around 80 percent of the population – need humanitarian assistance, while 20 million people have to rely on food aid to survive.
The war has left Yemen on the brink of what the UN has warned could be the “worst famine we have seen for decades.”
Deadly clashes and airstrikes have forced almost four million people to flee their homes
More than 24 million people – around 80 percent of the population – need humanitarian assistance
20 million people have to rely on food aid to survive
Disease is also rife across Yemen. Between April 2017 and December 2018, there were over 1.3 million suspected cholera cases in the country – one of the worst outbreaks in recent history.
Earlier this year, and amid heavy rainfall, the UN warned that more than five million children under the age of five were facing an increased threat of cholera and diarrhoea. It reported more than 110,000 cases of suspected cholera across 290 of Yemen’s 331 districts since January 2020, with children under five accounting for a quarter of these cases.
Now Yemen’s shattered health services and water infrastructure are under new pressure as the country faces the threat of Covid-19.
Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel
Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel
Oxfam has been in Yemen for more than 35 years, working with government authorities, as well as civil society organisations, to improve the water and sanitation services and the livelihoods of thousands of people living in poverty. Our focus is on women's rights, healthcare, disaster preparedness and helping people to have a say in the decisions that affect them.
Delivering essential aid
We have been delivering essential aid to those affected by the conflict since July 2015 and have reached more than 3 million people with clean water, food vouchers, cash transfers and hygiene kits. With the arrival of coronavirus, we refocused our work in Yemen to respond. Across the country, we are training community health volunteers to spread the word about coronavirus and the importance of hygiene and handwashing.
The ongoing conflict
There have been a number of ceasefires declared since 2015; however, none have led to lasting peace. The pandemic, and the UN’s call for a global ceasefire in response, is believed to have led to a two-week ceasefire in Yemen from April 2020. It was later extended by a month but fighting has since resumed.
Helping people to recover
Yemen’s humanitarian crisis has left the economy in tatters. More than half of the population is unable to access the food they need to survive and millions of children are malnourished. Millions have been pushed from their homes and out of work, while food prices continue to rise. The lack of progress in reaching a peaceful outcome is deepening the cycle of poverty and suffering across the country.
We are providing agricultural and humanitarian assistance to help people recover from the crisis and prepare for the future. And we are empowering women to play a role in their country as we push for peace to be restored in Yemen, so that the future generation can live free from war and conflict.