The ‘Arab Spring’ (revolutionary demonstrations and protests) has deepened the challenges for many people living in the region’s poorest country.
Months of political unrest have left the country in a state of paralysis, and sparking a fuel crisis which has brought the economy on the brink of collapse. Rising hunger levels have left many families close to breaking point, and according to the UN, some vulnerable communities are now facing critical levels of malnutrition.
- More than half the population live below the poverty line, with one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world.
- One third of Yemenis (7.5 million) do not have enough food to eat. 60 per cent of young children have stunted growth.
How Oxfam is helping
Oxfam has been working in Yemen for 29 years, co-operating with government authorities, as well as the civil society organizations, to improve the health care and livelihoods of thousands of people living in poverty.
Since June 2012, we have provided vital water, sanitation and hygiene services for more than 123,000 people displaced by conflict in northern and southern Yemen. We are also helping hundreds of families to rebuild their livelihoods.
We give cash transfers to vulnerable families who do not have enough food to eat to help them meet their basic needs.
Working with partners we deliver a range of initiatives to help improve women’s health – including training midwives and female health workers, and organizing mobile health teams (‘health caravans’) to reach rural families.
At the heart of our work, we advocate greater justice for women. This includes raising awareness at all levels – from campaigning against early marriage, to increasing women’s economic empowerment and working to secure legal protection.
“I’ve always believed that education and training are the best ways to ensure an income and a decent life. That’s why I received this carpentry training and I’ll do my best to ensure my son will receive the highest education.” – Ahmed, beneficiary of Oxfam’s livelihoods project.
Oxfam public health staff have been piloting an ‘ecosan’ project in areas where the ground is too rocky to dig decent latrines. By diverting the urine from the faeces and recycling them as compost, these latrines don’t smell and don’t require desludging, making them more popular and long-lasting than normal pit latrines.
More about Oxfam's humanitarian response in Yemen
Read the report: Still Waiting for Change in Yemen - Making the political transition work for women