As we hand out our 1,600th food parcel, Islamic Relief aid worker Nadheer Khaldun* opens up about life in the capital city Sana’a since the conflict intensified.

I barely recognise my city. It’s not just that it looks different because of the impact of the conflict, but it’s because it’s so empty. There is nobody on the streets. Businesses are closed, schools and universities are shut, people have fled to rural areas in the hope it is safer there, and those who remain are hiding in their homes.

The streets are littered with cars. They have been abandoned in the places where they have run out of fuel. I have had to move with my wife and daughter from our home because it was too dangerous there. My new home is closer to the office. I don’t have a car. I used to take a taxi to get to work. It used to cost around 300 Yemeni Rial [around GBP 94p]. Now it takes me less time to get to the office – 15 minutes in a taxi if I can find one – but I am charged 2,500 Rial [around GBP £8].

No work and no water

For most of the people who remain in Sana’a, there is no work any more. Factories and companies have no electricity so people are off work. Everyone is worried that they won’t get their wages at the end of the month.

Life is so hard. As there is limited electricity, they cannot pump the water to us, and for the past six days, we haven’t had any water. We had electricity yesterday and today, but each time, it only lasted for two hours. Many of the generators need gas to function, and we can’t get hold of gas any more either.

I can’t describe the feeling here. Everyone is tired and worried, and afraid of course; we’re all afraid. None of us know what is going to happen next, but we all know that Sana’a is not safe any more.

Islamic Relief launched its Yemen crisis appeal on April 10. Support our work.


*Name has been changed for security reasons