This month marks the seventh anniversary of a serious escalation of the conflict in Yemen. Since 2015, almost 400,000 people are estimated to have died in the ensuing crisis, and the country’s economy has collapsed.

More than 20 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, including 16.2 million in acute need, according to the European Commission. More than half of those in acute need are children.

Conflict and climate change are robbing Yemenis of their livelihoods and forcing many to uproot themselves. There are more than 4 million people internally displaced in the country, many of whom are reliant on outside aid to survive.

Despite the desperate need, humanitarian organisations are grappling with unprecedented funding shortages, forcing some to scale back their work in Yemen.

Chronic underfunding

In December 2021, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) reduced food assistance to 8 million people as funds ran low, describing the decision as a ‘desperate measure’.

That year, donor pledges covered only $2.23 billion (£1.68 billion) of the $3.85 billion requested by UN agencies for humanitarian aid to Yemen.

Islamic Relief distributes gifts during Eid al-Fitr.

On 16 March, the international community has a critical opportunity to support those most in need when UN representatives and humanitarian organisations meet for the annual pledging event on Yemen.

It is vital that urgent, adequate and balanced funding be pledged across all sectors to avert large-scale famine and to assist and protect millions of people coping with extreme hardship.

Live-saving support for Yemeni people

Islamic Relief has been working in Yemen since 1998. We significantly strengthened our programmes in the country following the escalation in the crisis in 2015.

In partnership with the WFP, we work to alleviate hunger and malnutrition by distributing food and cash vouchers to vulnerable people, including internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Islamic Relief supports health facilities in Yemen to provide care including consultations, surgeries and education. This work includes projects dedicated to combating the spread of cholera and Covid-19. Since the pandemic began, we have supplied medicines and equipment, including ventilators, to Covid-19 isolation centres in Yemen.

Addressing the lack of safe drinking water, Islamic Relief provides water and hygiene kits to those in need, as well as helping to construct and repair infrastructure to ensure a regular supply of water to households and communities.

During Ramadan , Islamic Relief distributes food packages to help vulnerable people break their fast. We also provide qurbani meat so families can celebrate Eid al-Adha, and essential items such as food and fuel to help families cope during the harsh winter months. More than 5,000 children in Yemen have been supported by our orphan sponsorship programme.

Islamic Relief is committed to supporting the people of Yemen in this time of crisis and beyond. Help us to continue our live-saving work. Donate now.