ACTION ALERT: Yemen Is Facing Famine Due to Conflict and Covid


Photo credit: Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation

It is estimated that 80% of the population in Yemen is in need of humanitarian aid and safety from conflict. The current violence started in 2015 and has continued to produce further instability, displacement, and famine. Acute malnutrition rates for children under five are the highest ever recorded. Reporting for Covid is unreliable, but cases are widespread according to Rajaa Ahmad Ali Massad, Yemen’s first female anesthetist, who told Devex “I don’t think there is a home without COVID-19 — [there are] lots of deaths.”

Global Washington Members responding:

CARE: CARE’s work in Yemen is focused on strengthening communities’ resilience in emergencies and crisis through programming in the following areas: food security and livelihoods, women, water and sanitation hygiene (WASH), reproductive health, and women’s economic empowerment, education, and technical vocational training. Read more here.

International Rescue Committee (IRC): Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis of our time. The International Rescue Committee provides lifesaving emergency aid, clean water, education, women’s protection and medical care to millions of people in Yemen affected by violent conflict and a growing health crisis that now includes COVID-19. Read more here.

Mercy Corps: Since 2010, Mercy Corps been helping people in Yemen access food, clean water, health services and work opportunities so they can be more resilient in the face of future challenges. We are focused on: Providing humanitarian assistance, improving access to water, sanitation and health services and increasing opportunities for income generation. As Yemen continues to face the COVID‑19 pandemic, we are taking the necessary precautions so we are able to continue supporting communities safely. We are also sharing prevention messages as part of all our programs. Read more here.

Save The Children: Save the children is working on a variety of different projects in Yemen including the following: Treating acute malnutrition: Children are either treated in a stabilization center for the most severe cases, or they are treated at home with Highly Nutritious Peanut Paste with guidance from our team for moderate cases. We’re also giving malnourished children micronutrient powders and vitamin supplements to keep them healthy. Protecting children: we have established Child Friendly Spaces which offer children safe areas where they can learn, play, and begin the long journey to recovery. We’re running Child Protection Committees as well as Community Awareness sessions on issues such as Gender Based Violence and Exploitation. Helping children and their families stay healthy: we are supporting 186 fixed health facilities and 10 hospitals and a covid-19 treatment center. We are responding to deadly disease outbreaks such as cholera and diphtheria via our Diarrhea Treatment Centres, a Diphtheria Isolation Unit, and establishing Oral Rehydration Treatment posts. We have provided consultations for people, including over 2 million children, so far and have trained 22,089 health care providers and community volunteers in providing health care services, prevention and management of malnutrition as well as the provision of nutrition education. Read more here.

UNICEF USA: UNICEF has been on the ground in Yemen since the conflict began, leading the way to provide water, nutrition, education and protection to children and families while collaborating closely with partners to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable children. Millions of children and families depend directly on UNICEF for water, sanitation and hygiene services and support.  As part of the COVID-19 response, UNICEF provided personal protective equipment to frontline health workers and continues to support hospitals and health workers to improve the delivery of critical services, including routine immunizations. Read more here.

Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation (YRRF): YRRF delivered food baskets to needy families across the country, as well as COVID-19 tests and PPE equipment to Aden, Mukalla, Sayoun, and Taiz. We also sent COVID-19 reagents — becoming the first NGO to do so. You can also learn more about the on-going food crisis in the documentary called Hunger Ward. With the UN and other aid groups reducing aid in the country due to funding gaps — our work is becoming more important than ever. Read more here.