Yemen

  • Oxfam has been working hard to improve water and sanitation services, as well as the livelihoods of people living in poverty. Since 2015, we’ve reached more than three million Yemeni people with clean water, food vouchers, cash transfers and hygiene kits as part of our emergency response.

    With the arrival of Covid-19, we refocused our work to respond. Across Yemen, we’re training community health volunteers to spread the word about the virus and the importance of hygiene and hand washing.

Your Kindness Rebuilds Lives: How Families Are Surviving Conflict in Yemen

Photo: Pablo Tosco/ Oxfam

Since March 2015, Yemen has been in the grip of conflict. More than four million people have been forced to run from their homes, their jobs, and the comfort of their everyday lives. Seven out of 10 people now rely on humanitarian aid. And two thirds of Yemen’s population don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Today, Yemen remains one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises of our time. But on the ground, in villages, towns and communities across the country, because of generous supporters like you, parents are rebuilding their lives.

 

Through sheer strength, determination, and your support, they can bring home food for their hungry children.

Beehive by beehive – Nazrah tells us how she is building a home and a future for her children.

Nazrah is a mother of five living in Abyan. She received a grant from Oxfam to support her beehive building business which she runs alongside her husband. Photo: VFX Aden / Oxfam

35-year-old Nazrah from the Abyan governorate has two sons, three daughters and an encouraging and cooperative husband.

Two years ago, she began building beehives, to earn an income and improve her family’s living conditions. But without the right tools for the job, she could only do so much.

When Nazrah heard Oxfam had arrived in her area, she didn’t hesitate in registering her business with us. Thanks to your support, we were able to offer her a grant to buy an electric chainsaw and all the other equipment she needed. Thinking back to that time, Nazrah says: “At first, I built a few beehives, not more than four or five. Over time, people began coming in crowds to buy from us, and the sales increased. Some of our clients sell these beehives at the market, while others keep them in their homes to breed bees.

Nazrah is a mother of five living in Abyan. She received a grant from Oxfam to support her beehive building business which she runs alongside her husband. Photo: VFX Aden / Oxfam
My living conditions improved, and I was able to register my kids at school, I renovated my house and saved a small amount of cash in case of sudden illness. I bought a cow and a small TV for the children. Honestly, this project improved my living conditions and covered all my household expenses. - Nazrah

Your support of families in Yemen is truly life changing.

From beehives to grocery stores, you are creating livelihoods throughout Yemen. Across trades such as tailors, mechanics, and farmers, you are improving skills and increasing incomes.

And for families struggling to survive in displacement camps – ‘survival kits’ containing clean water, food, emergency cash and hygiene supplies are saving lives.

So far, together, we’ve helped more than three million people.

Just like the parents of Yemen, we won’t ever give up. We’re in it for the long haul. And with you by our side, we’ll keep going until stories of hope – like Nazrah’s – overtake stories of hunger and heartbreak.

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" I've taken 2 of my children out of school so they can work and help me provide food for our family"

Photo by Ayman Fuad

In Abyan Governorate in Yemen, Aryam lives with her eight family members. Aryam was forced to flee from her village to protect her family after she was divorced.

Before receiving aid from Oxfam, Aryam's life was full of suffering, unable to afford enough food for the whole family. Sometimes they only ate one meal a day.

Aryam's mother is suffering from a blood clotting condition that requires regular medication and her daughter suffers from a sore ear, which needs to be washed on a monthly basis.

"I had to sell my home furniture to provide medicine and some food for my children," Aryam said with sadness.

In Abyan Governorate, there are more than 60,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) and most of them are living in inadequate conditions without basic essentials and no income.

It is also hard for Aryam to keep all of her children in education because of the cost of buying textbooks and school uniforms. She had to make the difficult decision to take two of her children out: "I have taken two of my children out of school so they can work and help me provide food and medicine for our family."

Aryam's story is an example of the devastating impact of the conflict in Yemen. We are on the ground, working hard to assist the people of Yemen by providing the most vulnerable families with cash to purchase food, water and medicine.

Aryam said: “I received cash assistance from Oxfam, I will buy food with it, I will also buy flour and vegetables, I will also buy some medicine for my mother and my daughter.”

We have provided more than 900 families living in Abyan Governorate with unconditional cash transfers as part of our food security programme funded by the Yemen Humanitarian Fund.

Despite the suffering in her life, Aryam is always optimistic and hopes that the conflict will end soon.

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Oxfam urges UN Security Council to inject new urgency into peace talks to end conflict in Yemen

25th January 2022

Oxfam today called on the UN Security Council to condemn the recent attacks in Yemen and inject new urgency into peace talks to end the seven-year conflict. The call follows airstrikes that have killed and injured hundreds of civilians in the last week and led to the suspension of humanitarian aid in parts of the country.   At the same time, people are struggling with spiraling prices for food, fuel, and basic essentials in what was already one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises.  

Speaking from Sana’a,  Abdulwasea Mohammed, Oxfam’s Yemen Advocacy, Campaigns and Media Manager said:  

“People are really struggling. Last night we had more airstrikes. Everyone is frightened. Children are traumatized – we tell them don’t worry it’s all fine but they wake up to the sound of massive explosions just like we do. Each night we go to bed and just pray we wake up in the morning. 

“We’ve lived with war for nearly seven years but the last few days have been the worst and I’m worried about what the next hours will bring.  

“The violence must end immediately so families can feel safe in their homes, and humanitarian agencies can resume lifesaving work. But we need more than a ceasefire, as in the past these have not led to sustainable peace.  The UN Security Council needs to inject new urgency into talks to ensure an end to the conflict and all sides must agree to prioritize the lives of Yemenis above all else.”  

This latest escalation has ground some urgent humanitarian work to a halt. Oxfam has been temporarily forced to suspend work in several areas due to concerns for staff safety and the movement restrictions imposed by the authorities due to the increased violence.  Lack of fuel also threatens aid deliveries to vulnerable communities.  

Over the last few days, prices have spiraled due to the bombardment. Fuel has almost tripled in price, in turn driving up prices of essentials like food, water and medicines that are transported by trucks around the country. As over 80 percent of people in Sana’a rely on water delivered by truck, this price increase threatens a major public health emergency.  

In many places, fuel is not available, even on the unofficial markets.   Electricity supplies are restricted as local private power grid companies are struggling to buy the fuel needed to provide electric power. While necessities are pushed even further out of reach, the vital lifeline of remittance payments sent from family living abroad as well as domestic money transactions (hawalah system) was cut for days due to the lack of internet. The telecommunications outage left families struggling to make contact with loved ones, further adding to their trauma. 

Mohammed said: 

“In recent weeks, the UN Security Council has reacted strongly to violence against civilians in other countries emanating from Yemen, but not to widespread attacks taking place in Yemen. To fulfill its responsibility to uphold international peace and security, the Council must demonstrate the same concern for Yemenis as it does for others across the region and the world.”   

Since the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen - the UN-appointed body responsible for monitoring human rights abuses in Yemen - was disbanded in October last year there is no international monitoring of human rights violations. The Civilian Impact Monitoring Project reported that there was a 66 percent increase in civilians killed in the last three months of 2021 compared to the previous quarter. 

Since the start of the conflict in 2015 over four million people have been displaced inside Yemen, many multiple times as frontlines shift. There have been nearly 14,000 civilian casualties and over 20 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance.    

ENDS

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5 ways you helped Oxfam fight inequality in 2021

In a year of continued struggle and upheaval, you never stopped showing up in the fight against inequality.

As 2021 has come to a close, we are amazed by Oxfam’s supporters and their dedication to ending poverty and injustice around the world. 2021was not easy—with an ongoing pandemic - but you continued to show up and make your voices heard.

Here are some of the ways you made a difference in 2021.

1. You helped the most vulnerable survive COVID-19 in India.

When the second wave of COVID-19 hit India in April this year, it created a public health crisis that overwhelmed hospitals and left people literally dying in the streets. Within a month, there were more than 100,000 deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to over 300,000—the third highest in the world behind the United States and Brazil.

Through your donations and support, Oxfam was able to provide medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, beds, PPE kits, and more to frontline health workers at hospitals across India, and we worked with 60 partners to provide hygiene kits, thermometers, and oxygen level meters to families.

In addition to providing material resources, Oxfam has urged the Indian government to assist migrant workers returning to their homes with free COVID-19 tests, cash, shelter and isolation centers for those needing them, as well as to increase efforts to prevent violence against women.

Oxfam staff Nikhil Wagh and Parmeshwar Patil carrying an oxygen concentrator into the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial Hospital. Oxfam has distributed two oxygen concentrators and 50 safety kits for frontline health service providers in Pune, Maharashtra state. Oxfam India

2. We demanded a People’s Vaccine.

Oxfam co-founded the People’s Vaccine Alliance in order to fight for a patent-free, mass-produced, and fairly distributed vaccine available free of charge to everyone, everywhere. We are in partnership with Amnesty International Ireland, Trócaire, The Irish Global Health Network, and many more organisations. Over 400 leading doctors and scientists have issued a letter to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, requesting an urgent meeting to ensure Ireland is working to support the TRIPS waiver. A small representation from the Doctors for Vaccine Equity group, who are part of the People’s Vaccine Alliance in Ireland, and the Irish Society of Immunology presented the letter to the Taoiseach’s office.

3. You responded to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

In May of this year, Gaza was devastated by rocket attacks and shelling in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, resulting in nearly 450,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance, and over 100,000 displaced people. Contributions from people like you allowed Oxfam to work with local aid organizations in Gaza to provide blankets and mattresses, hygiene items, and the material needs to supply drinking water for 400,000 people. We also were able to give cash to farmers so they could restart their work. Oxfam plans to aid 19 schools in repairing their water and sanitation systems.

An escalation in the conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel has brought extensive damage to residential and commercial buildings, schools, roads, electricity network and water installations, and agricultural lands in Gaza. Fady Hanona

4. You supported ongoing humanitarian work in Bangladesh, Yemen, and other countries.

Oxfam supporters remain crucial in our ongoing humanitarian work in places like Bangladesh, where Oxfam and local partners have been assisting Rohingya Muslims who fled violence in Myanmar and are now living in dangerous, overcrowded conditions. In Yemen, your support has enabled us to assist 3 million people since 2015. This year, because of donations from people like you, we were able to provide aid to those in the Marib region who were recently displaced by fighting in the area. We delivered cash to more than 2,000 families and dislodging 55,000 litres of sewage from latrines each day.

Families seeking safety in Marib, including this man and his six-year-old son, have had to flee fighting multiple times. Kaff Media / Oxfam

5. You fought inequality worsened by the pandemic.

If there’s one thing that become abundantly clear during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that inequality makes everything worse. This year you continued to join us in our fight for equality and justice.

This year has not been easy for any of us, and yet you have remained dedicated to tackling inequality at its roots. Your support has helped people living in poverty across the globe, whether they were impacted by COVID-19, surviving a conflict, or fighting for their rights.  None of this work would be possible without you. 

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