people in need of humanitarian assistance
civilians killed or injured in 2020
children under the age of 5 suffering from malnutrition
These alarming statistics highlight the need for a humanitarian mission in Yemen to provide assistance to people who are directly and indirectly affected by the conflict.
Yemen – the humanitarian situation steadily worsens
Since 2014, Yemen has been under fire due to clashes between Houthi rebels and government forces. These years of war have also seen severe damage to infrastructure and the destruction of large numbers of roads, homes, schools and hospitals.
The blockade prevents aid from being delivered to Yemen
This civil war took on an international dimension when a coalition of Arab states, led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, became involved in the conflict, mainly through a large-scale and often indiscriminate campaign of airstrikes, resulting in the deaths of large numbers of civilians.
To make things worse, the sometimes-complete blockade imposed by the coalition hinders the delivery of humanitarian aid to Yemen. It has triggered a severe economic crisis, critically weakened state institutions, which no longer have financial resources, and led to a serious deterioration in food and nutritional security.
The healthcare system has also been severely affected, with half of healthcare facilities not currently functioning. The Covid-19 pandemic has made the healthcare system and the population even more vulnerable. The Yemeni people have lost heart – fear and anxiety are preventing them from accessing healthcare facilities except in emergencies. Yemen has paid a high price in the pandemic. Appalling living and hygiene conditions have increased the risk of catching Covid-19. Since the start of the pandemic, 5,357 cases and 1,049 deaths have been recorded. The healthcare situation, aggravated by the Covid-19 pandemic, only serves to highlight the need for medical assistance in Yemen.
Humanitarian assistance weakened by the war in Yemen
Despite many attempts by the United Nations to negotiate a ceasefire which would lead to a global resolution of the conflict, the warring parties continue to hamper diplomatic progress. Although negotiations between the parties have been intensified recently, raising hopes that a peace agreement might be signed in the years to come, political instability persists. During 2020, fighting in Marib, Taiz and Hodeidah have sapped confidence in the peace talks in Yemen.
Almost 80% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance
Away from the talks, the conflict continues to threaten the lives of millions of people. Today the UN considers the humanitarian crisis in Yemen to be the worst in the world, with almost 80% of the population in need of humanitarian assistance.
Our humanitarian work in Yemen
Since 2007, Médecins du Monde has been working to improve access to healthcare for communities by providing medical assistance in Yemen.
We are currently supporting 16 healthcare facilities, including 6 hospitals and 10 health centres in Sana’a, Ibb and Amanat Alasimah Governorates in the north and Lahj and Abyan Governorates in the south. Half of the healthcare facilities are unusable and the provision of medical supplies remains extremely difficult.
As part of our humanitarian action in Yemen, Médecins du Monde’s support for Yemeni Ministry of Health facilities in the north and south of the country ensures that the population has access to medical consultations, antenatal and postnatal consultations, routine vaccinations, nutritional care and treatment, psychosocial support and individual mental health consultations, as well as health education sessions.
Training and partnership with local facilities: key components of our humanitarian mission in Yemen
Our humanitarian mission in Yemen seeks to respond to epidemics affecting the population, such as the Covid-19 pandemic. This is assured by providing medicines, training and technical support for healthcare staff, reinforcing prevention messages, mobilising protection kits for healthcare staff from the Ministry of Health, as well as refurbishment of damaged infrastructure. The presence of our teams and the involvement of local communities is reigniting people’s hope and addressing the urgent humanitarian needs in Yemen.
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