Islamic Relief has now reached 4,000 people through our emergency food distribution in Yemen.
Islamic Relief launched an emergency appeal in the Middle Eastern country following the deepening of conflict. Hundreds of people have been killed and mass displacement has occurred across the country.
On the third day of humanitarian action in Yemen, Islamic Relief staff distributed food in the cities of Sana’a and Dhamar. We have so far assisted more than 240 affected families in the capital Sana’a, and more than 220 people in Dhamar, in south western Yemen. Among those helped have been families headed by orphaned children.
The nature of the conflict means that we have had to change how we deliver aid. In past humanitarian situations, whole families have travelled to collect food at organised points. Now, our staff in Yemen identify who is most in need and give them a food coupon. That food coupon can then be redeemed by one nominated person for food at a distribution point. This cuts down the number of people moving around who could become potential casualties.
Food and fuel is increasingly scarce
We are working to bring large quantities of food to those distribution points, but truck drivers are afraid to deliver food as they risk coming under fire or being hijacked as food becomes increasingly scarce. Fuel is also running out and we are currently using cooking gas to deliver food. Cooking gas supplies nationally are already running low.
We are hoping to reach more cities, such as Aden on the south coast. In Aden, communities are trying to support each other. One group which has taken refuge in a school is being helped by others who are collecting money and food on their behalf. We are trying to find ways to get medical supplies into the town.
Islamic Relief is monitoring the situation in Yemen. Numerous hospitals and schools have been damaged and power and water supplies have been lost. There are concerns that Sana’a could soon be without water. Islamic Relief plans to provide IV fluids, trauma kits and essential medicine to 30 hospitals across the country.
Islamic Relief has been working in Yemen since 1998, and registered an office there in 2003. Our development work there has focused on water and health, orphan sponsorship, seasonal food programmes and emergency relief. Even before the conflict, 60 per cent of the country’s population was reliant on humanitarian aid.
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