11.12.2020 / For immediate release
The Manchester Charity Turning back the Tide in Yemen
In the days after the UN once again highlighted a Yemen on the brink of famine, the world’s eyes have turned to the work being done by governments and charities to turn back the tide.
One such charity is Manchester-based Human Appeal, active in the country since 2014 and with an office in the capital, Sana’a, since 2016. In September it was one of the number of NGOs to sign a joint letter calling for an end to the hostilities that have driven Yemen to the brink of famine.
During the course of the conflict, Human Appeal has reached over 900,000 people in Yemen with its life-saving emergency interventions. This includes an ongoing a project with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) to support 15 health facilities, allowing for 69,000 vulnerable Yemenis suffering with acute malnutrition to be treated immediately. The partnership also facilitated three mobile medical teams to reach rural Yemenis too.
A huge contributor to the impending famine is the spread of disease in Yemen. Cholera has run rampant through the population and Human Appeal’s interventions in this area have helped nearly 46,000 people, including the provision of essential supplies to a cholera centre which served 18,000 people in one year.
However, it’s COVID-19 that has driven Yemen to the brink, where Yemenis are over three times as likely to die from the virus than the global average. The country had only 200 ventilators for a population of 30 million at the start of the pandemic. Protective equipment was nowhere to be found, and patients are still regularly turned away from hospitals that simply can’t cope with demand and haven’t got the necessary equipment and medicines. Despite the lack of testing, Yemen still has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates in the world, that’s before the many bodies of people who had COVID-like symptoms being buried every day are taken into account.
Human Appeal’s COVID-19 emergency response has so far provided clean water for 13,000 people for 10 weeks and 1,712 families with food parcels for one month in Taiz Governorate, 7,700 people in Aden with month-long COVID-19 protection kits, as well as PPE for staff and medicines for 1,800 people in two hospitals.
But as the UN warned, despite the best efforts of governments and NGOs, Yemen is perilously close to the brink.
Muhammad Dawood, Human Appeal’s Head of Mission in Yemen said:
“Yemen is host to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the impending famine could take us past the point of no return.
“Human Appeal has been working here for six years and we’ve seen first-hand the tragic consequences of conflict and COVID-19 on an already suffering population who just can’t take much more.
“We’re doing all we can to turn back the tide in Yemen, to defeat COVID-19 and to call on international actors to bring an end to the conflict.”
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Notes to editors
A media selection from Human Appeal’s recent work in Yemen is available here: https://media.humanappeal.net/?c=3197&k=899231c07f
Members of HA staff are available for interview and comment. For this or any other enquiries, please contact Sam Baxter on 07495 708236 or Pedro Carvalho on 07831 556951.
In September, Human Appeal released “Half a Decade of Hunger”, a report on the impact of five years of conflict in Yemen: https://www.humanappeal.org.uk/media/2371704/yemen-report_half-a-decade-of-hunger-2020_v2.pdf
Human Appeal is a humanitarian relief charity, established in a flat in Manchester in 1991 and now active in 25 countries. We carry out emergency relief campaigns in response to man-made and natural disasters, as well as long-term sustainable development projects designed to lift people out of poverty and create resilient communities.