Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million population is in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN. This includes 360,000 children under the age of 5 suffering from severe acute malnutrition. The organization further reports that total suspected cholera and acute watery diarrhea cases since 2017 number more than 1.3 million. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oxfam is training community health volunteers to spread the word about the virus and the importance of hand washing. In Aden, Oxfam is working on rehabilitating the water supply to one of the main hospitals.
Following years of conflict, Yemen is facing economic collapse and one of the most serious cholera epidemics in recorded history. High inflation and restrictions on food and fuel imports, combined with a nearly complete breakdown of the country’s health institutions, have pushed the country to the verge of famine as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country starting in April 2020.
How we're responding
Since July 2015, Oxfam and its local partner organizations have provided humanitarian assistance to more than three million people in Yemen.
- We have provided clean water and sanitation to more than one million people, many of them in hard-to-reach areas of the country. Oxfam and our partners are delivering water by truck, repairing water systems, delivering filters and jerry cans, as well as building latrines. For example, through our partner organization Generation Without Qat, Oxfam is providing water to more than 126,000 people inside Taiz city, and supporting 420,000 people in the governorate with water and sanitation services.
- To help prevent cholera, Oxfam works with local organizations to disinfect water storage containers with chlorine, distribute water purification equipment and chemicals to households, construct latrines, and conduct public health campaigns with volunteers who spread cholera messages and encourage good hygiene. To treat those suffering from cholera and other water-borne ailments, we also distribute oral rehydration sachets.
- Cash and vouchers to help people buy food, which has become expensive due to high inflation and import restrictions.
- Oxfam provides training and financial support for Yemeni entrepreneurs and farmers.
- Oxfam's Yemen country team is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic with public health promotion specifically on virus prevention including training for community health volunteers to engage in community awareness campaigns, and support to health facilities with hygiene care materials. The team is distributing cash, and launching cash-for-work opportunities for women, and other cash-for-work activities focused on environmental health.
- Advocating for peace: Oxfam is calling for a ceasefire, negotiations to end the conflict, respect for international humanitarian law, and unrestricted imports so that Yemenis can access food, fuel, and other humanitarian aid.
- Arms sales ban: Between 2013 and 2017, 60 percent of Saudi Arabia’s arms imports came from the US. Oxfam is also calling for a ban of sales of weapons from the US to all parties to the conflict in Yemen.
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