Words by Smiley Team
Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, has been devastated by a civil war for years. At the start of the war, Saudi officials predicted it would last only a few weeks – but six years of military stalemate have since followed.
In December 2020, it was reported that the conflict had caused an estimated 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure. The conflict has also caused what the UN says is the world's “worst humanitarian disaster”.
If you want to help those affected by the war, these are the charities supporting them on the ground.
So far, Save the Children has reached more than four million children in Yemen with urgent care and assistance. The war caused widespread hunger and poverty in Yemen, leaving millions of children malnourished. The charity says already weakened health systems have been even further devastated by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, leaving thousands of children and families without the medical attention they need to survive. It's estimated that 16.2 million people in the country will face high levels of acute food shortages with an estimated 21,000 children at risk of falling into famine.
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“After 6 years of conflict, over 20 million people are in need of urgent help,” say the UN’s Refugee Agency. “More than 66% of the Yemeni people depend on humanitarian aid to survive. Covid-19 is just another issue on top of existing crises.”
UNHCR is on the ground providing humanitarian relief and protection across Yemen to hundreds of thousands of displaced people. They delivering cash and emergency supplies, providing families with shelter and keeping them safe from harm in the freezing weather.
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UNICEF is concerned that the spread of coronavirus in Yemen is likely to be devastating to those impacted. Only one in three people have access to running water, very few people have soap, and many healthcare facilities are closed or only able to provide a very basic service, they report. "More than six years of fighting has already pushed Yemen and its health system to the brink of collapse," they say. "Millions of children lack access to clean water and sanitation facilities and are in desperate need of basic healthcare."
UNICEF is on the ground working around the clock to protect children in Yemen. Since the start of the crisis, they have helped to reach more than 4 million children with over 3,000 tonnes of life-saving supplies, including life-saving therapeutic food, safe drinking water and health care supplies.
Baitulmaal and Mona are grassroots local organizations in Yemen, where volunteers support those affected by the war with meals, medical assistance and supplies to neighbouring communities.
Since supporting Yemen, Baitulmaal has provided nearly 160,000 meals, as well as antibiotics and medical tests to people in need. Mona has supported thousand of people through giving food, clothing, as well as hygiene pouches.
Doctors Without Borders is an organisation that has doctors who travel to foreign countries to provide medical assistance when needed. It's working in more than 13 hospitals in Yemen.
"After six years of war, Yemen’s health care system has been crippled and the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) treatment capacity is limited," they say. "[We are] providing support ... in Al Gamhouria hospital in Aden. Our team at the treatment center currently consists of more than 100 doctors, nurses, and support staff who are working around the clock to respond to the needs."