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Yemen: Humanitarian Catastrophe

, / 2 months ago
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After almost three years of intense conflict, an estimated 22.2 million people in Yemen need humanitarian aid to survive – more than any other country in the world.  The tragedy has reached epic proportions, with a child dying every 10 minutes from preventable causes like diarrhoea, breathing infections and malnutrition.

During the past six months, conflict has intensified in the western coast of Yemen. Pro-government forces backed by the Saudi led coalition are fighting to retake western coastal governorates from Houthi armed group. In the recent days, coalition and allied forces have closed in on the city of Hodeida, home to around 400,000 people and the main gateway for imports of relief supplies and commercial goods.

Yemeni Child near Tent

According to a recent statement by The Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen:

“In addition to being one of Yemen’s most densely populated areas, Hodeidah is the single most important point of entry for the food and basic supplies needed to prevent famine and a recurrence of a cholera epidemic.”

Yemeni child during conflict in Yemen

The United Nations, Islamic Relief and other INGOs working in Yemen issued a statement on 11 June, warning that any operation aimed at seizing Hodeida itself would have catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

“If an attack does take place, it is likely to have a catastrophic impact on the civilian population as large parts of the Yemeni population will be at risk of displacement, disease and worsening food insecurity, including possible famine. Food imports have already reached the lowest levels since the conflict started and the price of basic commodities has risen by a third. Seventeen million people in Yemen are already food insecure, and Hodeidah governorate is already in crisis.”

Islamic Relief began working in Yemen in 1998 and registered an office there in 2003. The programme was significantly strengthened following the escalation of the conflict in March 2015.

Islamic Relief team in Yemen

We work in 19 of the country’s 22 governorates, delivering aid to many hard-to-reach areas. Our country office is in the capital, Sana’a, and we have eight sub-offices in Dhamar, Amran, Aden, Taiz, Hodeida, Saada, Maarib and Rymah.

Our emergency and development response, including food aid, water and sanitation, healthcare, orphan and child welfare and vocational training for young people, has benefitted millions of people over the last three years.

Yemeni Children receiving Aid

Islamic Relief is coordinating its efforts with INGO and UN agencies to prepare contingency plans for emergency response should the attack on Hodeidah take place.

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$100 can help us immediately mobilise our staff to provide urgent food, shelter and medical assistance to Yemeni families inside the 19 of the country's 22 governates we work in.

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