As Yemen enters its fourth year of war this week, 22 million people ─ more than 80 percent of the population ─ are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Nearly 10,000 lives have been lost as a result of the conflict between Al Houthi forces and government forces supported by an international coalition. The conflict has contributed to the collapse of the economy and basic services, as well as an elevated risk of famine and a massive cholera epidemic. Today, more than 8.4 million people are on the brink of starvation. Learn more here.
34-year-old Hasan’s nickname is the “loyal man.” Our emergency response team met the father of five in a small shack built with his own hands on a field in the district of Al-Garrahi; he is one of many displaced by the ravages of war around the villages, trying regain some semblance of a normal life.
Before the war began, Hasan and his wife Sumaya lived with their children in the town of Mukhaa. Hasan sold vegetables in a grocery store, and Sumaya cared for their home and their children. When conflict reached their village, they left their home behind to stay with relatives a few miles away.
The conflict in Yemen has caused an extreme shortage of food, fuel, and medicines. Hospitals and health centers are completely dependent on generators to operate medical machines and provide services. Frequent power losses and lack of supplies and staff means very low quality of care in many places—too often resulting in tragedy for patients and their families.
“Sumaya always gave birth at home, but when she was nine months pregnant, I took her to a healthcare center because there seemed to be something wrong with the baby,” said Hasan. “There was not enough specialized medical staff and there were several power cuts during the birth. They could not save her or the baby.”
Hasan and his children were forced to move again and settle further away from the conflict. Supporting the needs of a family of six is difficult in times of crisis: companies are closing and job offers are few and far between, explains Hasan.
“My neighbors call me the 'Loyal Man' because, after Sumaya died, I decided that I would devote myself to my children and play the role of mother and father at the same time. I have looked everywhere for work, without success. We are able to survive thanks to the support of our neighbors and aid from humanitarian organizations.”
Hasan and his family have received a basic kit of essential items including soap and blankets. They have also received financial aid to buy food and other survival needs.
"I decided that I would devote myself to my children and play the role of mother and father at the same time."
Action Against Hunger's Response
Despite access and security challenges, Action Against Hunger has been present in Yemen since 2012. Our 260-strong team is currently providing humanitarian assistance in the areas of Abyan, Hajjah, Hodeidah and Lahij. Our emergency programs deliver lifesaving treatment to severely malnourished children, improve families' access to food, and deliver vital clean water and sanitation to communities.
Nutrition and Health
- We perform health screenings and provide lifesaving treatment for malnourished children under five years of age.
- We provide health screenings for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, as well as pre- and post-natal screenings for malnutrition, and we administer micronutrient supplements.
Food Security and Livelihoods
- Where local markets are still functioning, we distribute cash and food vouchers to enable families to meet their daily survival needs.
- Where markets no longer exist, we provide food assistance and essential relief supplies.
Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene
- In communities, schools, and healthcare centers, we build and repair water sources and latrines to improve access to safe water and sanitation
- To prevent the spread of waterborne disease, we educate communities about sanitation and hygiene, and distribute hygiene kits and ceramic water filters.