Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East, has been plagued by conflict for more than six years, which has caused what the United Nations describe as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Deadly ground fighting and airstrikes have killed more than 12,000 civilians and forced over 4 million people to flee their homes since March 2015.
The crisis has left the economy in tatters. Almost half of the Yemenis are unable to access the food they need. Millions have lost their jobs and assets, forced into debt and poorly paid work in order to survive while food prices continue to rise.
People lack access to basic health services in a country where only half of health facilities are fully functional. Even those that are open are facing severe shortages of medicines, equipment, staff and lack ability to provide critical medical care. There is also limited capacity to test people for COVID-19.
The ongoing lack of decisive steps towards peace is deepening the cycle of poverty and suffering across the country.
Almost 70% of the population - 20.7 million people - are in need of humanitarian and protection assistance, of whom 12.1 million people are in acute need.
UN estimates 2.3 million children to suffer from acute malnutrition, of whom 400,000 could die if they do not receive treatment.
More than 6 million women need urgent access to gender-based violence services. Incidents of gender-based violence increased by more than 63% in the first two years of conflict.
Oxfam in Yemen
Oxfam has been operating in Yemen for over 33 years and is currently present in eight governorates where poor communities are located. We work alongside and through local partners in all areas of our response and also to campaign for an end to the conflict and an inclusive peace agreement that takes into account the needs and views of women, youth and civil society. As of April 2021, we have reached more than 4 million people through our program.
Helping people to recover
Our emergency activities focus on providing clean water and sanitation services, helping families make a living and delivering cash to cover their basic food needs. With the arrival of coronavirus, we refocused our work to respond to the pandemic. Across the country, we are training health volunteers to raise awareness of vulnerable communities about the virus and the importance of hygiene and hand washing.
Strong civil society
We work to ensure that civilians are well protected and to strengthen Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Yemen so that people can have a say in decisions that affect them most. We work with civil society organizations across the country to ensure that the voices of Yemeni women and youth are raised and their aspirations for the peace process are heard by powerholders. To this end, we help Yemeni partners participate in global humanitarian fora, so that they can share the aspirations of Yemenis for their future and how they have been affected by the conflict.
Women’s rights & Protection
In Yemen, thousands of women lack access to education, economic opportunities and basic protection. Together with our partners, we empower women to fulfill their rights. We ensure that the specific needs of women are mainstreamed in our all of our humanitarian programmes. In addition, specific projects aim to address protection risks faced by women, support women rights organizations and activists to build their leadership capacity and ensure their voices are heard.
Through our protection program we enable affected communities in several governorates across Yemen to safely access direct protection assistance provided by Oxfam or local partners, as well as supporting women access specialized GBV services, lifesaving response and basic services.
Averting future crises
Yemen is prone to natural disasters such as droughts and flooding. The effects of climate change are increasingly being felt in Yemen, which is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. Oxfam is working with its affiliates across the globe to highlight the impacts of climate change on Yemenis, advocating for proper attention to alleviate such impacts and help affected communities better adapt to resulting harsh environmental changes.
Campaigning for a lasting peace
Oxfam is doing everything possible to help people get access to food and clean water they need to survive. But that is not enough. The Yemeni people are asking for peace, they must be able to rebuild their lives and live in dignity without fear and devastation caused by the war. Oxfam is mobilizing its global network to advocate with the main powerholders for urgently agreeing on lasting peace that prioritizes the aspirations of Yemen women, men and youth.