The war in Yemen started on the 19th March 2015, and Yemen was already a poor country before this, but it had life, incredible culture and a happy community. The war made the situation for the people in Yemen a lot worse, resulting the country to undergo a devasting and unliveable state. Bombs started dropping at their doorstep, tearing their homes down, displacing the people of Yemen and sadly, forcing innocent children of Yemen into severe malnourishment.
A country which was once known as the “Happy Yemen” is now no more. It is now a country with the worst humanitarian crisis that the world has ever seen. The poorest country in the Arab region, has become a violent playground for all to ruin.
And that resulted to about 130 children dying every single day since the war has started in 2015, which is over 85,000 who are under 5 years of age that have been starving and 360,000 of them are suffering from acute malnourishment in 2020.
More and more cases of famine are reported daily, driving the country of Yemen into very poor macroeconomics conditions, including significantly high prices of food and resources for a long period of time.
Displacement in Yemen
The negativity of this crisis has severely impacted the lives of the people in Yemen, driving a large scale of displacement. It has been estimated that 61,378 households, which is approximately 368,268 individuals, were displaced in Yemen between January 1 and October 12, 2019. During this time, Yemen has seen heavy rains, which has caused very bad floods in the affected areas, destroying the homes of many and contaminating the water supply.
This ongoing food security emergency is very likely that it will continue all the way to May 2020, creating an unstable living for millions and many of whom are around 17 million people in Yemen, that will require emergency food aid on a monthly basis. If the poor drive of macroeconomics and conflict in the country continue, then the disruptive livelihoods and poor income opportunities will also continue to rise, limiting all access to any medical care, food and resources.
Under these heart-breaking circumstances, most areas in Yemen would likely be worse in the absence of assistance from other countries and charitable organisations, such as, Saba Relief who dedicate their support to the needy people of Yemen.
After years of simmering hostility, an estimation of more than 100,000 people in Yemen were killed, sparking the world’s worst and largest humanitarian crisis. This goes to show that there are no means to end this catastrophe and stabilize the lives of the innocent people in Yemen.
“I just need to be able to feed my family and the electricity to stay on for more than a few hours. That hasn’t happened in years,” said Umm Khaled, as she shopped for her twin daughter’s new year school supplies. This is the reality of millions in Yemen, as they are unable to predict what will happen next or what will they be giving up in the future.
About 26 million people, which is 80 percent of the population, are in need of some sort of humanitarian assistance and that figure is only increasing every day due to the battle in Yemen. Many families are forced out of their homes due to the outbreak of the fights, about 3 million.
Ahmed Ghaleb Story
One example of a family who was forced to flee their home are now, roofless and living in a crude environment, Ahmed Ghaleb who is married with six children. He was forced to leave his home after his shop no longer brought in income for him and his family, and the landlord started asking for the rent when he was unable to pay anymore.
On top of all of that, Mr Ghaleb’s daughter, who is 19 years old, is suffering from a condition called atrophy, which is an illness where an organ is gradually wasted away as a result of the degeneration of cells or becomes vestigial during evolution. The parents are unable to provide any type of medical care to their ailing daughter and that is due to the ongoing conflict. So, her father, Mr Ghaleb, was required to move his family to a neighbouring city, so that he can work in construction, to provide for his family and to hopefully provide the aid needed for his daughter.
This also involved Mr Ghaleb to travel daily to get clean water for his family to drink, because his area lacks even the basic necessities for survival, such as running water and a good sewage system.
Many civilians are struggling like Mr Ghaleb and his family, they are all feeling the brunt of this distressing war.
The destruction of infrastructure and restrictions of food and fuel imports meant that around 17 million people in Yemen will face what everyone fears, famine, unless they are able to continue to receive some sort of humanitarian help.
Another issue which has started in Yemen, due to the lack of medical care and resources, is the outbreak of an infectious disease called Cholera.
What is Cholera?
Cholera is a disease, which causes diarrhoea that can kill within hours if it was left untreated. This happens when food or water is contaminated with infectious bacteria and viruses. It can also be carried through infectious materials, such as the sewage.
This common problem is associated with poor hygiene and lack of clean water, but for a third of the population, which is still millions of people in Yemen, they are unable to get access to any clean water making them a target for deadly diseases, such as Cholera.
Having Cholera is a very big indicator that the population are living in poverty and inequality. And aside from diarrhoea, Cholera can cause vomiting and very bad fever, which can lead to severe dehydration that then leads to death.
According to the World Health Organisation, there are approximately 1.3 to 4 million cases of Cholera outbreak worldwide and 21,000 to 143,000 deaths each year.
One of the issues of Cholera is that, 75% of people who are infected, don’t develop any symptoms for 7 to 14 days, so it can be spread around to more and more people without the knowledge that the person you have come into contact with, has Cholera.
Just in Yemen alone, the authorities announced the world’s largest Cholera outbreak, resulting in 2.2 million suspected cases and 3,895 related deaths since October 2016. And in April 2017, they suspected an approximate of 25,827 cases for the deadly disease, including 129 deaths. By January 2019, 90,552 were samples that were tested and 4429 were Cholera positive. This is due to the failure of managing the garbage and sewage in the affected areas that has filled the streets of Yemen.
The outbreak of this disease has been very hard to manage, because in half of the country of Yemen, there are only 3,500 medical facilities that are fully functioning, but almost 20 million people lack access to any type of adequate healthcare. And almost 18 million are unable to access any clean water or suitable sanitation.
This has caused nearly 2 million children to become extremely malnourished and for 360,000 children under 5 years of age to fight for their survival. This also included 3.65 million people to become displaced since the war has started in March 2015.
Lack of job opportunities
Many are on the lookout for work, but the employment opportunities are extremely low.
“All I want is to find work, so my children survive”, says Rahmah, who sold all her jewellery to be able to feed her struggling family.
But when the money for the jewellery finishes, Rahmah will need assistance from charities, other organisations and surrounding neighbours who will be able to accommodate to her needs, as well as, the millions who are also suffering in Yemen.
Thousands of people in Yemen, wait out in the streets and sidewalks on the look out for any kind of work, so that they are able to feed their poor families. They oppose themselves to cheap work, if there are any, and receive a very small fee that is not even enough to buy food for one family.
The citizens are found in the draught cities of Yemen like, Sana’a and Taiz, and in areas like, Daresstour and Hizyaz. Staying out from early morning until the dark nights, just so that they don’t miss an opportunity of work, if there are any for that day. Unfortunately, most of the plumbers, painters, cleaners, construction and professional workers find themselves with no work most of the days of the month.
The devastating situation and never-ending conflict in Yemen, has caused a huge catastrophe for the people. Many of them have stopped working, either in the public or private sector, so no one is better than anyone when it comes to job opportunities. No one can afford to go out to work for free, even the doctors, nurses and fire fighters.
Official Statistics Since the Start of War
Official statistics confirmed that, unemployment has risen to 75 percent in Yemen, which is mainly due to the damage caused to more than half of the industrial establishments resulting them to go out of service and that is because of the war.
Another finding, which was reported by the Centre of Studies and Economic Media, is that about 1 million and 500 workers in Yemen have lost their job and around 800 contracting companies had to close down and stop their work. Other organisations have also confirmed that, more than 3 million people in Yemen have lost their jobs in the different sectors that they have worked in. All of this is because of the affect of the distressing conflict.
According to the World Bank, the rise in unemployment in Yemen has gone up to more than 60 per cent, affecting the poverty rate, increasing it to 55 percent, as the population of Yemen is 30 million people, in 2019.
As we have approached the fifth year of this horrifying war, Yemen are still under fire, interrupting salaries and the enrolment of hundreds of thousands of civilians and military. The global obstruction, which was executed on airports and ports, has resulted in difficult economic living conditions, especially for the young people in Yemen, who are trying their best to help their parents to provide for their families.
“The tragedy of the war-torn workers in Yemen, ignited by internal political parties, Arab and Western countries four years ago, has lost the workers’ labour and worsen their situation and human suffering” said Emad al-Aqili to Daily Worker (a New York newspaper).
Official reports predicted that poverty in Yemen will be at a high number of 78 percent by the end of 2019, as it has risen from 47 percent, which was in 2014. Violent conflicts have led to a serious deterioration in Yemen’s social and economic conditions, which was one of the reasons to the significant rise in poverty and unemployment rates, leaving the population to live on less than $3.2 (£2.50) per person, per day.
In conclusion, Yemen needs our help. The violence and unjustness that they have endured, no one should ever go through. About 26 million people in Yemen, 80 percent of the population, are in dire need of our humanitarian assistance. Many of whom are young and innocent children, 2 million of them, who are malnourished and on the brink of famine, with no medical care assistance or money to get the help that they desperately require.
Displacement, unemployment and the disease rates have increased tremendously, killing the population slowly, which will lead to no trace of the history of Yemen in a few years’ time if this catastrophe does not end.
Saba Relief is a non-profit charitable organisation that helps the people of Yemen to provide them with the essentials that they need, all year around.
To help the people of Yemen, support Saba Relief to continue aiding for our neighbours who are dying in Yemen.