Oxfam International Blogs - war http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/war en Stop the Bombs, Yemen is Starving http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-11-20-stop-bombs-yemen-starving <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>In recent days in the port city of Hodeidah in Yemen, hundreds of bombs have been dropped on and fighting has raged around the hospital</strong>. Houthis artillery fire in Yemen, and across the border into Saudi villages and towns, has similar effects. This intensification of fighting in the has put the spotlight back on the terrible conflict which has been raging since 2014.</p> <p>The tragedy here is that the crisis is human made and a product largely of arms brought in from outside of Yemen, both before the war and since it started.</p> <h3>Millions of People Are in Need</h3> <p>The fighting has <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-hodeida-port-city-war-civilians-saudi-arabia-houthis-a8404841.html">trapped about 600,000 civilians</a> in the city as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) seek to wrest control of the port from Houthi forces, who have some backing from Iran. Hodeidah is strategically important as the vast majority of humanitarian aid for Yemen flows through the port, and the risk is that the fighting will leave the 22.2 million people in need of aid without access to food or medical supplies.</p> <p>In the past week, the World Food Programme has been <a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-al-hudaydah-update-situation-report-no-14-reporting-period-16-october-13-november">unable to access</a> 51,000 metric tons (MT) of wheat grain stored at the Red Sea Mills in the city, enough to feed 3.5 million people for a month. And a vital UNHCR warehouse containing emergency shelter and non-food items has become inaccessible.</p> <h3>Imported Arms Are Fuelling Death in Yemen</h3> <p>This terrible situation is entirely caused by a war in which the parties are dependent on arms supplied from outside the country.</p> <p>For the coalition side, arms, equipment and munitions have come mostly from western countries. The Saudi Arabian Air Force flies military jets from the US and UK, with bombs and missiles are supplied by those States and also notably by Italy. The UAE is also a coalition partner with a strong presence on the ground in Yemen including in the fighting in Hodeidah. The UAE is equipped with tanks and other armoured vehicles by France, and by a Canadian-owned Dubai based military vehicle manufacturer. France has also sold jets to the UAE and Qatar.</p> <p>Concerns about violations of International Human Rights Law (IHL), which have been committed by all parties to the conflict, have until recently not had much effect on the supply of bombs, missiles and other military arms and equipment to Saudi Arabia or other coalition countries.</p> <p>However, following the <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-45812399">murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi</a> in Turkey by the Saudi government, countries such as Germany, Norway and Austria have recently announced a suspension of arms transfers to the Kingdom, and pressed other EU states to do the same. Most recently, the <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security/u-s-ends-refueling-support-in-yemen-war-as-pressure-builds-on-saudi-arabia-idUSKCN1NF06R">US announcement</a> on October 10, of an end of refuelling for Saudi fighter jets active in Yemen, should hopefully constrain their ability to maintain a high operational tempo.</p> <p>Research by the UNSC mandated panel of experts showed that Iran smuggled arms into Yemen for use by the Houthis - who have also used arms and equipment from government forces which they seized, or were given by deserting army units in the early stages of the war. Further research by independent analysts have also shown continuing supplies of explosives and military technology, including missiles and drones, from Iran.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">The people of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Yemen</a> are experiencing one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. <br /><br />They desperately need our support: <a href="https://t.co/P3wXVqCmiv">https://t.co/P3wXVqCmiv</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YemenCantWait?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#YemenCantWait</a> <a href="https://t.co/HwoOAyWmKW">pic.twitter.com/HwoOAyWmKW</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/1064272535292768256?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 18, 2018</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Women Are Affected Most</h3> <p>Oxfam is particularly concerned about the gendered impact of arms supplied to all combatants, with the burden of the violence <a href="http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/humanitarian-action/facts-and-figures">falling particularly heavily on women and girls</a> trapped in war zones.</p> <p>Explosive weapons like the bombs and missiles used in Yemen put women at greater health risk than men:</p> <ul><li>especially due to the lack of access to healthcare after exposure to explosive weapons use or because of miscarriage;</li> <li>women are more discriminated against than men if disfigured or disabled as a result of such exposure;</li> <li>women are more vulnerable economically and socially than men especially if displaced by explosive weapons use;</li> <li>and women are usually less able to participate than men in rebuilding societies and infrastructure after conflict, meaning their needs are less likely to be met.</li> </ul><p>Fighting in Yemen has also caused the <a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-unhcr-update-march-2018">displacement of over 2 million people</a>. Among other gendered effects of conflict, it is known that displaced women have a higher risk of exposure and exploitation, and in particular are subject to gender-based violence.</p> <p>Research shows that during conflict and militarisation of societies there is often an increase in sexism and violence towards women and therefore also an <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4012695/">increase in the risk of sexual violence</a>, which then usually goes unpunished.</p> <h3>Yemen Is Desperate for Peace</h3> <p>Oxfam has <a href="https://www.oxfam.org.uk/scotland/blog/2017/09/yemenoped">consistently called</a> on <a href="https://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2017/12/bringing-the-blockade-of-yemen-to-washington/">all States</a> to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2015/09/uk-arms-sales-fuelling-yemen-crisis-in-potential-breach-of-law-says-oxfam">stop the supply of arms</a> to all those fighting in Yemen, and where suppliers are party to the Arms Trade Treaty, to live up to their <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2018-11-07/oxfam-joins-yemeni-and-international-organizations-call-immediate-ceasefire">obligations to cease supplies</a> where there is an overriding risk of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.</p> <p>The people of Yemen need peace.</p> <p>They need the arms supplies to stop and supplies of food and medicine to enter the country unimpeded to meet their needs.</p> <p>They need materials for the reconstruction of civilian infrastructure destroyed in fighting.</p> <p>So far, countries have <a href="https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/perverse-cycle-european-arms-sales-saudi-and-uae-worth-sixty-times-aid-yemen-356882718">earned much more from arms sales</a> than they have given in humanitarian aid.</p> <p>This needs to end, and end now.</p> <p>The new and fragile ceasefire offers hope. Will it last?</p> <p><em>This entry posted on 19 November 2018, by Martin Butcher, Oxfam's Policy Advisor on Arms and Conflict.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Jameela Ahmed's three boys sitting in the room they live in, in a village outside Khamer city, Yemen. Jameela's husband died about seven years ago, so she takes care of her children. In Amran governorate, Oxfam has reached over 205,000 people. In these hard-to-reach areas, we set up some cash assistance projects to support people’s battle against starvation, and malnourished children receive treatment from Oxfam’s partners. We have also run projects for hygiene awareness and cholera prevention. Credit: Gabreez/Oxfam<br /></em></p> <h3>Read more:</h3> <ul><li><em><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen"><strong>Blogs on Yemen</strong></a><br /></em></li> <li><em><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen">Support Oxfam's humanitarian response in Yemen</a><br /></strong></em></li> <li><em><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases?keys=yemen&amp;created%5Bmin%5D%5Bdate%5D=&amp;created%5Bmax%5D%5Bdate%5D=">Oxfam's press releases on Yemen</a><br /></strong></em></li> </ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Stop the Bombs, Yemen is Starving</h2></div> Tue, 20 Nov 2018 09:05:12 +0000 Martin Butcher 81784 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-11-20-stop-bombs-yemen-starving#comments Why water is such a precious resource in Yemen’s remote villages http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-22-water-precious-resource-yemens-remote-villages <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>Yemen has one of the worst problems of water scarcity anywhere in the world. 16 million people lack access to clean water, either because there is no infrastructure or because they can’t afford water trucks. Oxfam water engineer, John Migele, visited one village where people reminded him of why his work is so important.</strong></em></p><p><em><strong>Alowbala Village, Amran</strong></em></p><p>Amran governorate just like other parts of Yemen, is endowed with beautiful landscapes with exceedingly scenic views. But visiting a distant rural community hit with suspicious cases of acute diarrhea disease provides a different and humbling scene, hidden to anyone who might simply walk in and out of the community.</p><p>Alowbala Village (in Al-Qafla district) is situated more than three hours’ drive through a rocky and mountainous road. The homes are spread out but when visitors arrive, the residents come to share a handshake. People are friendly and hardworking.</p><h3>Understanding the challenges</h3><p>We are here to let people know how to help prevent and control of diseases such as cholera. One older man opens up the discussion to talk about the harsh living conditions in the community and hidden struggles they cope with every day to get water and other basic needs. He cites deep poverty, lack of schools in the village and associated high illiteracy levels, occasional internal conflicts (due to differences over land and the few water sources).</p><p>There is no health unit within the village - and the nearest one is 25 kilometers away. The man continues, “We do not have latrines in many of the homes you see, everywhere is rocky and it’s very difficult to have latrines in the mountain.”</p><p>We learn that there is very little awareness of the benefits of the latrines and that the community practices open defecation. A younger man narrates his frustrations, "We have no good water here. When it's dry like now, we have open wells that we dig ourselves in groups to support us and our livestock. The wells are only possible down in the valley and it’s a long journey for many homes back up the mountains.”</p><p><img src="https://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/default/files/_0013-mountain-pass-1240.jpg" alt=" Ameen Al-Ghaberi/Gabreez" title=" Ameen Al-Ghaberi/Gabreez" data-delta="1" data-fid="10849" data-media-element="1"></p><p><em>Women in Al-Dhafer village in Amran governorate return home with water. Credit: Ameen Al-Ghaberi/Gabreez</em></p><h3>The inequality of water access</h3><p>We notice a water reservoir tank and we enquire how they get the water trucking service. In unison, the villagers confirm that this is for the few rich people in the community who call the truck owners whenever they need water to irrigate their qat farms – qat is a water-intensive crop whose leaves are chewed as a mild narcotic – and for drinking. The rich pay USD $15 for every trip.</p><p>Their faces clearly express the feeling that access to clean water is a luxury for the few. One man from the group interjects that people working on the rich families' farms have resorted to begging for clean drinking water.</p><h3>Lack of water causes serious health problems</h3><p>In the process, a mother who recently had her family admitted to hospital arrives, along with her six children. As she settles among the female community members, we then lead a discussion session on hand washing with soap as a key practice to prevent/control both acute diarrhea and cholera. One man was shocked to see the dirty water from his own hands, "We just live with dirt in our hands!"</p><p><img src="https://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/default/files/img-005.jpg" alt=" Riad Alghazali/Oxfam" title=" Riad Alghazali/Oxfam" data-delta="2" data-fid="10850" data-media-element="1"></p><p><em>Community member performs hand-washing demonstration in Amran governorate. Credit: Weam Moghales/Oxfam</em></p><p>In the women’s group, another mother of six explains what she thought caused her and her children to fall sick and be admitted in the hospital, "I went to the valley in the morning to collect water from the open water source for my children, and after three hours at exactly 4pm, after my children drank that water, they came down with acute watery diarrhea and vomiting. First my daughter, then the rest of my family including myself."</p><h3>Making a deeper connection</h3><p>As my team and I wrap up to leave, a senior member of the community stands up with a heartfelt plea on behalf of those who are vulnerable but could not attend the sessions, "Please visit us again to tell our neighbors who did not attend today so they too can get this good message. We will not be able to convey this information correctly as you did."</p><p>We were touched by the deep rapport we had quickly established with these people. A young teenage boy plucked up the courage to approach our team, curious himself to know how to treat water to be safe for drinking and to stop diseases.</p><p>We left with a deeper understanding of the challenges the village residents face but also an admiration of their eagerness to learn new skills that can improve their lives.</p><p><em>The entry posted by John Migele, Public Health Promotion Team Leader in Amran, Oxfam Yemen, on World Water Day, 22 March 2018.</em></p><p><em>Top photo: Women in Al-Dhafer village in Amran governorate carry jerrycans on their heads and climb the mountain to return to their homes. Credit: Ameen Al-Ghaberi/Gabreez<br></em></p><p><em>The UN estimates some 17 million people in Yemen, 60 percent of the population, are suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition, including 8 million now on the brink of famine. At the same time, Yemen is facing the world’s worst ever recorded cholera outbreak, with nearly 1 million cases reported and over 2,200 deaths since the start of the epidemic. Oxfam is delivering essential aid in both the north and south of the country and we have reached 1.5 million people across the frontlines, since July 2015.</em></p><ul><li><strong>Read <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/tags/yemen">more blogs about Yemen</a></strong></li><li><strong><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/tags/yemen"></a></strong><strong>Support <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</a></strong></li></ul><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Why water is such a precious resource in Yemen’s remote villages</h2></div> Thu, 22 Mar 2018 00:36:47 +0000 Guest Blogger 81447 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-22-water-precious-resource-yemens-remote-villages#comments Helping a Yemeni village fight hunger http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-08-17-helping-yemeni-village-fight-hunger <div class="field field-name-body"><p>We drive west through steep rocky terrain, dotted with ancient mountaintop fortresses studded with tall circular towers of rough-hewn stone. Rural Yemen is serene, isolated and medieval. We are heading from Oxfam’s emergency humanitarian office in Khamer, in the northern tribal heartland of Amran governorate, to Othman village on its western edge. <br><br>Othman’s 200 families are battling hunger, like many others across Yemen.</p><p><strong>A perilous drive</strong></p><p><img alt="Osman village in Amran governorate, A ‘Lord of the Rings’ village where 200 families are fighting hunger. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam" title="Osman village in Amran governorate, A ‘Lord of the Rings’ village where 200 families are fighting hunger. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/yemen_dry_landscape.jpg" /><em>Osman village in Amran governorate,&nbsp; A ‘Lord of the Rings’-looking village where 200 families are fighting hunger. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam</em></p><p>The drive is nerve-wracking. Our driver Abdullah says pointedly he has been driving for 10 years around these hairpin turns and vertical cliff-face drops. I think he’s noticed how scared I am. <br><br>We wave to some men and women working the tiny cultivated terraces, and to curious child shepherds moving goats and sheep through the sun-baked mountains.<br><br>We lose mobile phone reception and modern-day communication. After one and half hour of perilous ride over 27 kilometers, we descend into a valley dotted with fields of sorghum, and to a hamlet of scattered stone dwellings in the cliffs high above the valley floor. <br><br>This is Othman village.&nbsp; <br><br><strong>Food is scarce</strong><br><br>Othman’s people eke out life in stricken conditions. Food is mostly homemade bread and a boiled wild plant known locally as Cissus or Hallas. We’re here to measure how Oxfam’s cash assistance project of $98 per month for each extremely poor family has helped put food on their tables and avert starvation.</p><p><img alt="Boiled, the wild plant Cissus or Hallas as locally known, is the main food along with homemade bread that people eat in Osman village. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" title="Boiled, the wild plant Cissus or Hallas as locally known, is the main food along with homemade bread that people eat in Osman village. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/hallas_plant_food_yemen.jpg" /><em>Boiled, the wild plant Cissus or Hallas as locally known, is the main food along with homemade bread that people eat in Osman village. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam</em><br><br>There were 80 severely malnourished children in Othman. Oxfam set up cash assistance projects around the Khamer district, with other agencies, to buttress their battle against starvation. The children got health treatment from our partners, while Oxfam gave cash to the most desperate of the families here. We also ran a program to raise their awareness about malnutrition and good hygiene.<br><br><strong>No teachers for the schools</strong><br><br>At Othman school, a frail old man whirls black prayer beads through his fingers, leaning against the wall of a classroom. The school rooms are used for community meetings only now. There are no teachers in Othman.<br><br>The village announcer shouts out over the loudspeaker: “Oxfam is here to monitor the conditions of the malnourished children.” Curious folk join us. Parents have dressed their children, who before had been on the brink of death, in their very best clothes. They seem well on the mend. Over the four-month duration of our cash assistance project in Othman we’ve reduced malnutrition by 62%.</p><p>Though pale, these children are no longer on the verge of starvation.</p><p><strong>You’ve saved our lives</strong></p><p>Nine-month-old Mohamed Amin, the youngest of five siblings and still tiny, is cradled by his father. He has certainly been saved from an early unnecessary death, by a small assistance.</p><p>Crammed into a classroom, we ask about Oxfam’s work. How many times do you eat a day? How is the baby’s condition?&nbsp; What do you do for a living?&nbsp; And so on.</p><p><strong><img alt="Rabee Qassem holds his young daughter while worrying for her future. He&#039;s one of thousands that used to receive Oxfam&#039;s cash assistance in Amran governorate. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" title="Rabee Qassem holds his young daughter while worrying for her future. He&#039;s one of thousands that used to receive Oxfam&#039;s cash assistance in Amran governorate. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam / Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/yemen_family.jpg" /></strong><em>Rabee Qassem holds his young daughter while worrying for her future. He's one of thousands that used to receive Oxfam's cash assistance in Amran governorate. Credit: Mohammed Farah Adam/Oxfam<strong> </strong></em></p><p>Children smirk at my Arabic as their parents take turn in answering. Others nod along. <br><br>“Your assistance saves our lives,” says Rabee Qassem, holding his young daughter. <br><br><strong>The effects of war</strong><br><br>Many of these villagers used to work on small farm plots along the valley but their incomes were so meagre they could no longer afford their essential needs when the price of basic commodities skyrocketed due to the conflict and the de-facto blockade of Yemen. &nbsp;<br><br>Since the war exploded open in March 2015, more than <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-38646066" rel="nofollow">10,000 Yemenis have been killed</a> and 17 million people – 60 percent of the population – do not now have enough to eat. More than <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/mar/16/yemen-conflict-7-million-close-to-famine" rel="nofollow">7 million of them</a> are a step away from famine.<br><br>As they were here in Othman.<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/crisis-yemen/yemen-brink-conflict-pushing-millions-towards-famine" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong></strong></a><br><br><strong>Hope for peace</strong><br><br>I ask the mother of 10-months old Marwan about her hopes. She takes a deep breath, a moment of silence and as she gathers her thoughts, and tears well up. “Peace! My only hope is peace,” she says. Others nod. <br><br>At the end of our meeting, I had to announce the news. “We have run out of money to continue the cash assistance.”<br><br>Their banter dies down to silence. “But why? Our situation is still miserable,” Mohamed Amin’s father says. <br><br>“The cash assistance project was funded by donors for only a specific period of time, which has come to an end. We are still looking for more donor funds but we haven’t secured any yet,” I explain. “We know your situation and we are doing our best.”<br><br>“Thank you. God will help,” says the old man with the beads.</p><p><strong><img alt="IDPs collecting water from the water distributions point at Al-Manjorah IDP&#039;s camp, Yemen. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani/Oxfam" title="IDPs collecting water from the water distributions point at Al-Manjorah IDP&#039;s camp, Yemen. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani/Oxfam" height="600" width="900" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="4" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/105265_ogb_yemen.jpg" /></strong><em>Oxfam water distribution point. Photo: Moayed Al.Shaibani/Oxfam</em><br><br>It is a wretched time. Our program was funded for four-months and – although this was made clear at the start – the people of Othman are dismayed now and afraid. It’s my job to start winding-down this part of our work now that we only have a month left of funding toward it.<br><br>We hoped to maintain it. We tried. It saved their lives. But the cruel truth is that earlier this year, the big aid donors made the tough decision to triage their money only to goverornates that were at “level 4” emergency status – that is, one level below famine. <br><br>Although still itself in an emergency situation as a village, Othman is part of a goverornate – Amran – that is classified overall as “level 3”. Therefore, there are other goverornates which are, overall, in worse straits. <br><br>Othman no longer makes the cut.<br><br>This is exactly what we mean when we say Yemen is an “<a href="http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=21496&amp;LangID=E" rel="nofollow">overwhelming</a>” crisis. Our unconditional cash transfer projects are immediate life-savers; last year Oxfam ran cash transfer projects worth nearly $4m, to more than 7,100 families in Yemen (the Othman project cost about $32k, by way of example). <br><br>But these are typically short-term and irregular projects, and with the constant funding pressure we’re forced to keep tightening our criteria of people we can help to only the most desperate.</p><p><strong>Stand with Yemen</strong><br><br>Over the last two years, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam has provided humanitarian assistance to more than 130,000 people</a> in the most dire humanitarian needs in Khamer and in three other neighboring districts. We enable vulnerable communities to access water through rehabilitation of rural and urban water networks.<br><br>We’ve invested in rain-water harvesting, repaired water networks, and provided fuel, sanitation services, solid waste management and hygiene promotion. We’ve given out winter clothes to families living in open displacement camps, helping their children to survive freezing weather. <br><br>With heavy hearts, we leave Othman and its children and their parents. <br><br>Oxfam is still running a cholera response project there, including distributing hygiene kits, but our cash assistance work in Othman is done – at least for now – decided for us, because there are "worse" priorities elsewhere.<br><br>I hope Othman’s people survive. I hope they can eventually thrive. I hope that donors can find more funding and expand the humanitarian work to the scale it needs to be, including back into the pockets of desperation like Othman. <br><br>I hope Yemen can achieve peace.<br><br><em>This entry posted by Mohamed Farah Adam, Oxfam Yemen’s Program Manager in Khamer, Amran governorate, on 17 August 2017.</em></p><h3>What you can do now</h3><p><a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen"><strong>Please donate to Oxfam's Yemen Appeal</strong></a></p><p><strong><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen">Read more blogs on Yemen</a></strong><em><br></em></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Helping a Yemeni village fight hunger</h2></div> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:11:43 +0000 Guest Blogger 81174 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-08-17-helping-yemeni-village-fight-hunger#comments Behind the five million ‘Syrian refugee’ tags are individual stories of love, loss, and hope http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-03-behind-five-million-syrian-refugees-are-individual-stories-love-loss-hope <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>A smile lights up her honey-colored eyes. Delicate gold droplets dangle from her small ears. Her name—Warda—means rose in Arabic. She could have been a carefree 18-year-old law student in London, an aspiring actress in Paris, or a trendy blogger in NYC.</strong><br /><br />Instead, Warda is pregnant with her second child, lives in a tent in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley with her 23-year-old husband Hassan, and is dressed in black from head to toe, in mourning for her mother who was killed 10 days ago in Homs when a missile flattened the family home. Her earrings are her last personal belonging.<br /><br /><strong>Behind her smile is a storm of grief</strong>, questions and hopes that never let up. The young woman is one of five million Syrians who have fled their war-torn country and are registered as refugees in Syria’s neighboring countries—that’s a number equivalent of more than the twice the total population of Chicago or the entire state of South Carolina. Half of the pre-war population of 22 million has been uprooted. A quarter has crossed borders in search for safety. Warda was 13 when she left her home area in Homs governorate. She has not seen her father since.<br /><br />“Last time I saw my mother, she came to spend a month. But she left before my first child was born,” says Warda, scrolling through photos on her mobile phone. She shows me a picture of her mother Hanane, beaming as she stands next to her on her wedding day. Warda was dressed in white, her hair in an elaborate up-do, her eyes lined with kohl. “We got married here in the camp. There was dancing and singing. Life has to go on,” she says.<br /><br /><strong>But her life is anything but normal.</strong> Her son Jaafar is now 13 months old. Like so many Syrian children born in Lebanon, he has no official papers, and hence no nationality. Jaafar is neither Syrian nor Lebanese. Would his own country even allow him back in after the war?<br /><br />The lack of documentation for newborns resulting from the amount and cost of red tape is one of many challenges Syrian refugees face in neighboring countries such as Lebanon. They have little-to-no access to the job market, they contract debts to complement the little humanitarian aid they receive, they don’t have full access to education, and they live with the constant fear of deportation.<br /><br /><strong>Yet those who have turned towards rich third countries</strong> have either found closed doors when they attempted to travel, or have risked their lives on rickety boats to reach the shores of Europe. Five million refugees now live in limbo, waiting for an elusive peace to go back home or for an improbable plane ticket to Europe or North America. We at Oxfam, with other organizations, have called for the resettlement of the most vulnerable, or 10 percent of the total number of Syrian refugees. That’s half a million people spread across dozens of cities around the world. In Lebanon, one in five inhabitants is now a refugee.<br /><br />Not far from Warda’s tent, in another informal settlement built on privately-owned agricultural land, Abou Imad, 53, sips tea while waiting for the young men and women of his family to come back from a day in the fields. Bent in two under the baking sun, they would have harvested onions or planted potatoes for less than $10 per day. Next to him, his two youngest girls sit quietly. Though they had a spot in the local school—the Lebanese government having opened public schools to around half of the Syrian children—they stopped going because their father can’t afford the bus ride. “What will happen to this generation?” he asks. “That’s what worries me most. They are growing up to be illiterate. We, the older generation, have nothing left to lose. But them?”<br /><br /><strong>Abou Imad thought he had seen it all.</strong> A soldier in the Syrian army that fought in the Lebanon civil war (1975-1990), he went on to become a truck driver criss-crossing the Middle East and delivering goods to US-occupied Iraq in 2004. In 2010, he settled in his hometown of Raqqa, but little did he know that the terrorist group ISIS would drive him out of what became a few years later the heart of its self-proclaimed caliphate in Syria. <br /><br />“Look at this woman. Dressed like this, she would not have been able to stick her head out of the door. They would have killed her,” he says pointing to his new daughter-in-law, Ahlam, which means dreams in Arabic. A fresh-faced, raven-haired young Syrian woman wearing a red dress, she left Raqqa a few months ago. She took a perilous journey through Iraq and Jordan to reach Lebanon and marry Abou Imad’s son. Now a refugee, she has been embraced by her new family, and can live without the threat of extremism.<br /><br /><strong>But Abou Imad’s heart stayed in Syria</strong> and he wants to see his homeland even just one last time. “You see how big the ocean is? Even the smallest fish, after travelling far and wide, will come back to rest under that same rock it was born under.”</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/iFaMqm8oBhw?rel=0" allowfullscreen="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><em>The names in this story have been changed to protect the security of the individuals.</em><br /><br /><em>We are <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-syria">providing lifesaving aid </a>to displaced people in the Middle East, and we’re helping families meet some of their basic needs as they travel beyond the region to seek safety. </em><br /><br /><em>The entry posted by Joelle Bassoul (<a href="https://twitter.com/JoBassoul">@JoBassoul</a>), Oxfam Media advisor, Syria Response, on 3 April 2017.</em><br /><br /><em>Photo: Warda, with her child Jaafar and husband Hassan, lives in a tent in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley after leaving her home in Syria. Credit: Joelle Bassoul/Oxfam</em></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Behind the five million ‘Syrian refugee’ tags are individual stories of love, loss, and hope</h2></div> Fri, 31 Mar 2017 12:37:14 +0000 Guest Blogger 81002 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-04-03-behind-five-million-syrian-refugees-are-individual-stories-love-loss-hope#comments The facts behind the man-made famine threatening Yemen http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-26-facts-behind-man-made-famine-threatening-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Two years ago conflict escalated in the Middle East’s poorest country: Yemen. Now today 7 million people are one step away from famine.</strong></p> <p>Oxfam has been able to reach 1 million people so far. And governments are meeting at the end of April to pledge more aid money. But this isn’t enough.</p> <p>Peace is the best way to avert famine in Yemen. So we’ve set a date for UN Peace Talks to happen and we need your help. Can you join this <a href="http://oxf.am/ZE4U"><strong>Yemen Peace Talks Facebook Event</strong></a>, invite your friends and your government and post why you want peace talks to happen?</p> <p> </p><h3>Airstrikes continue</h3> <p>The facts are cruel but true. Over the past 24 months, airstrikes and fighting have killed more than 7,600 people and resulted in an average of 70 casualties per day.</p> <p>The conflict involves among others, the Government of Yemen backed by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia, and the Houthis, aligned with Yemen’s former president.</p> <p>You can find out more on our interactive map below:</p> <iframe src="//www.thinglink.com/card/901798902439608321" type="text/html" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" width="100%" height="588" frameborder="0"></iframe><p>The situation in Yemen is part of the largest humanitarian crisis since the creation of the United Nations, with more than <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/famine-and-hunger-crisis">20 million people facing starvation</a></strong> and famine in South Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. </p> <p> </p><h3>Yemen needs peace</h3> <p>It’s not enough just to pay for aid to Yemen. We need peace – it’s the best way to avert famine.<br /><br />Together let’s make this <a href="http://oxf.am/ZE4U"><strong>Facebook event</strong></a> into a reality – join up, invite your friends and your government, and leave a comment there to what peace means to you, or tell us why you want it to happen.<br /><br />You can also <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen"><strong>donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</strong></a>.</p> <p><em>Photo: Farah*, 8, collects water from the Oxfam water distribution point at the Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam</em><br /><br /></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The facts behind the man-made famine threatening Yemen</h2></div> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 14:08:04 +0000 Guest Blogger 80988 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-26-facts-behind-man-made-famine-threatening-yemen#comments There was a time in Yemen... http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-22-there-was-time-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>This entry posted by Sylvia Ghaly, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam Yemen, based in Sana’a, on 22 March 2017.</em></p><p><strong><em></em>There was a time when</strong> hearing airplanes flying used to put a smile on my face. It was a reminder of the good memories from a holiday that had just ended or of the plans I was making for my next trip. <br><br>Now, when I hear airplanes hovering in the sky, I get scared of what might come next. I pay attention in case there is an airstrike to follow and I start counting the number of airstrikes, even those far away: One… Two… and with the third strike we are herded to the basement, usually in the middle of the night. Sometimes there are only two strikes, but that is even worse as I cannot go back to sleep, waiting for the third to come.</p><p>Some of the airstrikes are so strong that they shake the house, we can feel it even when we are in the basement. The truth is no matter how much we would like to think that we are safe, we never know if and when we will end up to be counted as ‘collateral damage’ or just ‘a mistake’ of those well trained jetfighters! <br><br><strong>There was a time when</strong> seeing armed people was a rarity, a novelty. I remember when I was in the US post 9/11 and the country was dotted by armed forces. Going to the State Library, I snapped a shot of a tourist posing with smiling members of the armed forces protecting the public spaces. Here in Yemen, the second most armed country in the world, seeing armed people is becoming normal for me.</p><p>Even though I haven’t been out much because of the security restrictions, just from the airport to the guesthouse, you can see the number of people in arms. They don’t look violent: they carry their arms the way guys in other countries wear a man-purse these days. That is, of course, not taking into account the famous Yemeni dagger, the ‘jambia’, which I personally count as decorative accessory rather than a weapon!<strong> </strong></p><p><img alt="Shahd and Fatima*, both three years old at the time, fled from Sada&#039;a to Khamir in Amran to look for safety. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam, August 2015" title="Shahd and Fatima*, both three years old at the time, fled from Sada&#039;a to Khamir in Amran to look for safety. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam, August 2015" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/94002lpr-girls-smiling-1240x680.jpg" /><br><strong><br>There was a time when</strong> the idea of child soldiers was an academic concept, a topic of research that stemmed from my strong belief in children’s rights and the need to protect children from harm. But here in Yemen, it is a daily reality when you pass one of the many checkpoints along the road that are ‘manned’ by child soldiers.<br><br>There was a time when seeing children of this age would have been followed by a casual conversation about which school they attended and what grade they were enrolled in. The encounter would have culminated with me emptying my pockets of pens, sweets or chocolates to share with them.</p><p>Today, when I see these children with their firearms weighing on their shoulders I say nothing, I pretend not to understand the language, and I hide behind my sunglasses waiting for the moment to pass. While waiting, I continue to wonder what future can these children hope for and what future does the country have when its children are deprived of education and a childhood.</p><p><strong><img alt="Hassan, 11, and his family are displaced from Harad city, now living in Almnkorh camp for displaced people in Abs District. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam" title="Hassan, 11, and his family are displaced from Harad city, now living in Almnkorh camp for displaced people in Abs District. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam" height="751" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/hassan-donkey-1240.jpg" /></strong></p><p><strong>There was a time when</strong> the concept of war was a theoretical one, it was shaped by what I saw on TV, in a movie or in the news and we all know that the news are always bias and things were never as bad as portrayed by the media. But they are, maybe even worse in the parts that the media cannot reach. War is a dirty ugly business and to my greatest surprise, here in Yemen there is no denying that the countries that pioneered the concepts of freedom, democracy and human rights are the same countries profiting from the war in Yemen and in the region. <br><br>There was a time when I thought that our ethical and moral compasses were strong enough to protect the vulnerable and to defend their rights, but now I know that these ideals are just that, ideals that can be part of presidential election speeches or academic lectures, but in reality, war will continue to exist for as long as human life is not the most valuable commodity and the value of one’s life is not the same around the world. <br><br>I hope for a time when I will be able to explore Yemen the way I did in many other countries around the world, when I will be able to visit Sana’a’s Old City and Socotra in the south without fear of kidnapping, violence or war. <br><br>Sooner or later that time will come, but unfortunately the more peace is delayed the more innocent people pay the price. <br><br><strong>There will be a time… for peace in Yemen.</strong><br><br><em>This entry posted by Sylvia Ghaly, Head of Policy and Campaigns, Oxfam Yemen, based in Sana’a, on 22 March 2017.</em><br><br><em>Photos:</em></p><ul><li><em>Boys of Khamer, Yemen. Credit: Sylvia Ghaly/Oxfam, August 2016</em></li><li><em></em><em>Shahd and Fatima*, both three years old at the time, fled from Sada'a to Khamir in Amran to look for safety. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam, August 2015</em></li><li><em>Hassan*, 11, and his family are displaced from Harad city, now living in Almnkorh camp for displaced people in Abs District. He travels daily on his donkey to collect water and firewood. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaybani/Oxfam, June 2016</em></li></ul><p><em>*Name changed to protect identity</em></p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong>Please donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>There was a time in Yemen...</h2></div> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:13:33 +0000 Guest Blogger 80986 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-22-there-was-time-yemen#comments How we're scraping by through the Yemen war http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-11-how-were-scraping-through-yemen-war <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><img alt="Mujeeb Al-Jaradi" title="Mujeeb Al-Jaradi" height="293" width="220" style="float: right;" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/mujeeb-aug-2015-khamir-220.jpg" />This entry posted by Mujeeb Al-Jaradi, Deputy Program Manager in Oxfam Khamer Office, on 11 March 2017.</em></p><p><strong>Two years since the escalation of the conflict, life continues to get worse in <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Yemen</a>.</strong> After a short pause last summer, daily airstrikes have intensified across the country, accompanied by intense fighting between in many areas. Malnutrition is on the rise, cholera had been spreading until only recently, and the number of people in need continues to increase.<br><br>Our daily reality remains bleak. Every morning, I face the uncertainty as I step out to go to work that I will return that evening, or if I do, that I will still find my home and family alive.</p><h3>No electricity</h3><p>Perhaps another way to describe the condition of daily life in Yemen is to say it is like having travelled 400 years back in time. We have now got used to living without electricity, not even hopeful that we will have it. Generators are too expensive for the majority, and few have solar energy. I only have access to electricity when I am at work in the Oxfam office.</p><p>We have managed to go without power in our homes for so long now that it is almost hard to remember how life was with electric lights, refrigerators or television. Very few people use cars because of the prohibitive fuel price. There aren't even taxis or public transport to speak of. Instead people have gone back to using that ever-dependable beast of burden, the donkey.</p><h3>Healthcare disappearing</h3><p>More significantly, we no longer enjoy the benefits of modern medicine: more than half of all health facilities in Yemen are closed or partially functioning and drugs are no longer readily available because they just do not get to Yemen. Last year my cousin passed away after recovering from a kidney transplant she had travelled to Egypt to receive.</p><p>As the airstrikes and blockade continued, the drugs to stop organ rejection became harder to come by and eventually couldn't be found. I appealed on Facebook and within hours more than 70 people offered to help. They managed to get the drugs to me within about four or five days, but by then my cousin was in decline and even with the drugs, she died after a week.</p><h3>People are barely scraping by</h3><p>Money is still king, but many people have sold most of their assets and have nothing left to sell. Few people have jobs and government salaries haven’t been paid in months. In addition to my wife and children, I also support an extended family of about 50 people with my sole salary. In the villages, my relatives are now growing cash crops to earn a bit of cash, but they no longer have the financial resources to cope with difficult periods or family emergencies.<br><br>People with money can still get food, despite occasional shortages in the market. But even the food seems like something from the past, with very few imports and a very different diet from what we were eating before the war. <strong>Many families are living on one meal a day</strong> and others prioritise food for children to cope with its scarcity. For those without money including those who had to flee their homes because of the bombings and the fighting, many have only managed to survive due to the kindness of strangers.</p><p><img alt="Collecting water from the Oxfam water distribution point, , Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah. Credt: Moayed Al.Shaibani" title="Collecting water from the Oxfam water distribution point, , Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah. Credt: Moayed Al.Shaibani" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/img_1126-water-trucking-boys-hind-1240.jpg" /></p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p>Oxfam and other humanitarian agencies are providing basic essentials including food and water and sanitation as well as cash for work. By paying those in need to repair the water and sanitation infrastructure, we are giving them not only the chance to choose which food they want to buy but also giving them back their dignity.</p><p>To date, Oxfam has helped over 57,000 people in Amran governorate where I work, and more than one million across the country. It is however a small number compared to the millions on the brink of starvation in Yemen.</p><h3>Our lives have diminished</h3><p>The only thing that we still have to remind us that we haven't travelled four centuries back in a time machine is the mobile phone. With these, we can still keep in touch with family and friends, and with the outside world. But these only work thanks to the few people who have generators and who provide what has become an essential community service, the charging of our mobile phones.</p><p>Even with intermittent use of phones and the internet, my social life has been reduced to family and friends where I live: I no longer travel for weddings or funerals or other big social gatherings. Many of those have been targeted by warring parties. Our lives have diminished in an ever decreasing circle.</p><h3>Don't forget Yemen</h3><p>Currently, the international media focus on the war in <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-syria" rel="nofollow">Syria</a>, its’ devastating impact and the huge number of <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/refugee-and-migrant-crisis" rel="nofollow">refugees flooding</a> into different parts of the globe. The Yemeni crisis is largely forgotten, with the country under total blockage and few journalists allowed to enter. With all the borders blocked, there is also no exit for the people suffering due to the conflict, so they are forced to stay and find a way to survive as best they can.<br><br>Let’s continue to work so that Yemen doesn’t become a forgotten crisis.</p><h3>What you can do now</h3><h3><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/donate" rel="nofollow">Donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work</a></h3><p><em>Photos:</em></p><ul><li><em>Nemah Ahmed, 42, has been displaced with her husband and five children to Bir Alhasee village in Abs district because of the war. Credit: Hind Aleryani/Oxfam</em></li><li><em>Collecting water from the Oxfam water distribution point at the camp for displaced people, Al-Manjorah IDPs camp, Bani Hassan District, Hajjah. Oxfam provide water tracking for the camp as there is no water source nearby. Credt: Moayed Al.Shaibani</em></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>How we&#039;re scraping by through the Yemen war</h2></div> Sat, 11 Mar 2017 09:52:57 +0000 Guest Blogger 80979 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-03-11-how-were-scraping-through-yemen-war#comments Finding hope in Yemen, as I witness a never-ending war http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-12-05-finding-hope-yemen-i-witness-never-ending-war <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>Arvind Kumar, Oxfam Humanitarian Program Coordinator (HPC) in Yemen, shares this deeply personal experience of his return to the war-torn country.</strong></em></p> <p>I still remember the night of March 26th 2015 when airstrikes started across Yemen. Our team in Harad, far north of the country, was glued to the television and we had no clue what was coming next. It was my first live experience of active war. The travel to the capital Sana’a was not an option at all due to the danger and likely airstrikes, and my few colleagues and I were evacuated the next day from Al-Hudaydah seaport, on the north-west coast.</p> <p>Though we were among the few lucky ones who were able to leave the country, our forced departure from Yemen and the six-day desperate journey, through the Mediterranean Sea to the Suez Canal, were filled with pain, desperation, fear, and of course uncertainty about the destination. A pair of denims, my passport, and a few valuable personal documents were the only few items in my bag, along with an immense hope to return to Yemen. I took an assignment in West Africa two months after the evacuation, but Yemen was always in my heart, waiting for that fine day when I would reunite with the Yemeni people.</p> <p>Life took a full circle and a few months later, I returned to Yemen by choice, without any hesitation or fear. On my return, I saw the desperate situation of hundreds of thousands of displaced people and those hosting them who are at the brink of losing their hope and dreams to live with dignity.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">Thanks to Oxfam, Abdallah, 11, will no longer have to walk 5km to go collect <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/water?src=hash">#water</a> instead of going to school in Alhada village. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash">#Yemen</a> <a href="https://t.co/2RVfQVMgQg">pic.twitter.com/2RVfQVMgQg</a></p> <p>— Oxfam Yemen (@OxfamYemen) <a href="https://twitter.com/OxfamYemen/status/798156031758999556">November 14, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Delivering humanitarian aid</h3> <p>Working in Yemen is not without challenges. Bombs are still falling, destroying hospitals, schools and markets, while active combat can flare at any moment.</p> <p>For the past 11 months, I was based in Shaffar town as the Program Manager, for Hajjah governorate, in the North of the country, where Oxfam provides humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of people.</p> <p>Due to the proximity of the Saudi border, the area sees consistent and intense bombardment, which makes the provision of safe and clean water and the distribution of large scale cash transfers to those most in need, really difficult. The security risk to deliver humanitarian assistance is very high and requires a comprehensive assessment for day to day movement, which greatly slows down our operations, while the needs keep increasing.</p> <p>In Hajjah, displaced people live either in camps in open spaces or with communities kindly hosting them, often sheltering in poor makeshift structures. Food is not always available, and most of the time too expensive for them to afford. People have no work and so are forced to sell livestock, the little monetary asset they have, or rely on food assistance, which has been drastically reduced since the beginning of the crisis.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">Amna has cancer but cannot afford treatment. Instead she sells food in the streets to support her disabled father &amp; her family. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Taiz?src=hash">#Taiz</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash">#Yemen</a> <a href="https://t.co/sQsOV6YvOa">pic.twitter.com/sQsOV6YvOa</a></p> <p>— Oxfam Yemen (@OxfamYemen) <a href="https://twitter.com/OxfamYemen/status/804279009349693440">December 1, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Daily struggle to survive</h3> <p>People from Hajjah have received family, friends and strangers with many households hosting two or three families. Household income has reduced and stretched. Everyone is now struggling to survive on day to day basis.</p> <p>For those who are displaced and live on their own,<strong> a single meal a day is becoming the norm</strong>, increasingly leading to acute malnutrition. Adverse weather conditions with high temperature, sand storms, intense rain fall and strong winds, as well as drinking water scarcity did not allow those displaced from managing their own situation, and so they have been further pushed into shattered conditions.</p> <p>Health facilities have also been destroyed or can no longer function, so people are forced to walk long distances for care, or are often left without any support.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">Since the start of the conflict in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash">#Yemen</a>, many families are looking for safety and the need for humanitarian aid is increasing by the day. <a href="https://t.co/8bCiHhWvTr">pic.twitter.com/8bCiHhWvTr</a></p> <p>— Oxfam Middle East (@OxfamMiddleEast) <a href="https://twitter.com/OxfamMiddleEast/status/797881563556052993">November 13, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Finding those most in need</h3> <p>When almost everyone needs humanitarian aid, it is vital to make decisions with the communities themselves to identify those most in need. We talk a lot and discuss the criteria for assistance, so we can jointly with the community select those who should benefit from the aid first.</p> <p>Humanitarian assistance is obviously not enough to help everyone, but in Hajjah and Al-Hudaydah governorates we have provided assistance to more than 600,000 affected individuals with shelter, clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene, and cash transfers.</p> <p>Giving out cash is a sensitive program so we try as much as we can to engage with affected people and power holders, and be transparent about what we are doing, so we can be accountable to the entire community.</p> <p>Many people also join our team as volunteers so they can learn and help each other.</p> <p>After a year working in the area, we also have a team who mediates between displaced people, the communities and the authorities. They monitor security threats and identify potential conflict. They are a dedicated vital part of the response.</p> <p>I am now based in Sana’a and support Oxfam’s operation countrywide. My journey which started with the evacuation in March 2015 still continues and so does the war.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">10 INGOs: "We implore all parties in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash">#Yemen</a> conflict to abide the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ceasefire?src=hash">#ceasefire</a> &amp; resume peace negotiations" <a href="https://t.co/AGEHyeVRP8">https://t.co/AGEHyeVRP8</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/YemenWar?src=hash">#YemenWar</a> <a href="https://t.co/2CQg5vdu7l">pic.twitter.com/2CQg5vdu7l</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/788790652540743680">October 19, 2016</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><h3>Hope for a better future</h3> <p>I believe in a better future for the Yemeni people. Despite the fact that over 3.1 million people were forced to flee because of the war, and the enormous number of people in dire need of basic services, I still see children smiling and trying to go on with their life.</p> <p>It is hard to know that so many more people need support, that there is not enough assistance, but these children are a source of inspiration to all of us and this is what keeps us going.</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Arvind Kumar, Oxfam Humanitarian Program Coordinator (HPC) in Yemen, on 5 December 2016.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Yemeni children are a source of inspiration to us all. Credit: Oxfam</em></p> <p><em>The current crisis in Yemen has pushed millions from their homes and out of work. The ongoing lack of decisive steps towards peace is deepening the cycle of poverty and suffering across the country.</em></p> <p><em>Oxfam is delivering aid to people in the north and south of the country. We have reached more than 913,000 people with clean water, food vouchers, cash transfer, hygiene kits and other essential aid, across the frontlines, in both the north and south of the country since July 2015.</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><strong>Act now: <a href="http://oxf.am/ZujN">Tell the UK Government: Stop British bombs fuelling the crisis in Yemen</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Support <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/donate">Oxfam's humanitarian work around the world</a></strong></p> <p> </p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Finding hope in Yemen, as I witness a never-ending war</h2></div> Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:44:28 +0000 Guest Blogger 72403 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/16-12-05-finding-hope-yemen-i-witness-never-ending-war#comments Happy Eid – from Yemen http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-16-happy-eid-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Eid is upon us.</strong> But it doesn’t feel like Eid. Fighting in Yemen has not ceased throughout the month of Ramadan - in fact it intensified. The upcoming holiday is meant to encourage forgiveness, charity, remembrance of God and generosity to ones neighbors. It’s also an opportunity to get members of the family together in celebration. This year is different.</p> <p>Airstrikes and fighting have become staples of everyday life in Yemen.</p> <p>I think I’ve adapted, but my two-year-old niece still asks questions, and I’m forced to lie. “What is this sound Auntie? It’s really scary,” she asks. I tell her it is just fireworks. But after more than 100 days of fireworks, I think she’s figured it out.</p> <p>When things escalated in late March, my family and I tried to move to a safer location, but soon found out that there were none. Part of our house in Sanaa was hit and it felt like a whole mountain was collapsing on us. Just last week, my sister and I barely survived a car bomb that went off only a few meters from us, as we were walking down the street. I was most shocked by my lack of shock.</p> <p><strong>But this isn’t just about the fighting</strong>. Restrictions on imports into Yemen are leaving us without adequate quantities of fuel, food or medicine. The limited supplies available in the marketplace are selling for incredibly high prices – well beyond the reach of millions of Yemenis, many of whom have lost their jobs and incomes as a result of the conflict. My sister worked for a travel agency that shut down when Sanaa airport was hit.</p> <p>When my family and I wanted to leave Sanaa, we couldn’t find fuel for the car. One petrol station had some quantities available, but the price was three times more than what we used to pay, so we couldn’t buy enough. Price of cooking gas doubled, and in addition to the lack of power and clean water, we’re now effectively trapped, helpless and running out of critical supplies.</p> <p>We heard talk about a temporary ceasefire, or pause. We have not seen any concrete changes on the ground.  Airstrikes on Sanaa and fighting in the South were uninterrupted by the last truce that was meant to begin on Friday at midnight.</p> <p><strong>So how are we going to get out of this mess?</strong> A permanent ceasefire would be a good start, one that all sides adhere to. We also need an arms embargo to stop the flow of weapons into Yemen.<br />Fighting will inevitably cease when all parties in the current conflict run out of arms and ammunition.</p> <p>Also, restrictions on imports need to be lifted, otherwise more people could die as a result of the lack of supplies than from the bullets and bombs.</p> <p>But Yemen is no stranger to crises. The country has historically struggled with corruption, mismanagement of resources, and a weak governance apparatus. Any long-term solution will require Yemenis to come together and resolve, once and for all, some of these pending issues.  Groups representing different communities in Yemen should sit across the same table and work towards a long-term political solution that addresses the needs and inequalities plaguing the country.</p> <p>If Yemenis care about their country - and I believe we do – we should put our differences aside and work towards the common good, through negotiations, reconciliations and compromises.</p> <p><em>This entry posted by Hind Aleryani, Oxfam staff member in Yemen, on 16 July 2015. She lives in Sanaa and has not left the city since the escalation in fighting in late March.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Trash fills the streets of Sanaa, Yemen. Credit: Oxfam</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://oxf.am/ZQFZ">Demand an end to the violence in Yemen</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Retweet these:</strong></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">More than 80% of Yemenis now need aid to survive. You can help end the violence now <a href="http://t.co/G4zlYJ1UBU">http://t.co/G4zlYJ1UBU</a> Pls RT <a href="http://t.co/FnKCJhF7Q7">pic.twitter.com/FnKCJhF7Q7</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/615535704718839808">June 29, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">Inspiring story: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Yemen?src=hash">#Yemen</a> women come together to protest for their rights <a href="http://t.co/eGRcYmhs2O">http://t.co/eGRcYmhs2O</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeForYemen?src=hash">#BikeForYemen</a> <a href="http://t.co/nVsBKqywor">pic.twitter.com/nVsBKqywor</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/615172900149166080">June 28, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Happy Eid – from Yemen</h2></div> Thu, 16 Jul 2015 12:36:22 +0000 Guest Blogger 27306 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-07-16-happy-eid-yemen#comments Syria: a stain on the conscience of the world http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-03-25-syria-stain-conscience-world <div class="field field-name-body"><h3>Ignored Security Council resolutions, escalating conflict and political inertia: Syria’s suffering civilians deserve better</h3> <p>Enormous numbers have had to flee violence in Syria. People of all political persuasion, ages, religious belief and background. Their views are diverse, and strongly held. One which is commonly expressed, however, is a disappointment with the ineffectiveness of the international community. A <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/research/failing-syria" rel="nofollow">new report by Oxfam and 20 aid and human rights organizations</a> shows there is good reason for this disillusionment.</p> <p>In the face of a spiralling human catastrophe, in February 2014 the UN Security Council eventually united to pass <a href="http://blog.unwatch.org/index.php/2014/02/22/full-text-un-security-council-resolution-2139/" rel="nofollow">Resolution 2139</a> that demanded an end to attacks on civilians and for Syrians to be able to access sufficient aid. The resolution, followed by two others later in the year, offered hope to Syrians. Our report shows that they have been largely ignored.</p> <p><strong>In the last year, the humanitarian situation has continued to worsen</strong> and the conflict has escalated.</p> <p><img alt="Syria crisis: humanitarian agencies struggling to reach people in need " title="Syria crisis: humanitarian agencies struggling to reach people in need" height="917" width="1833" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/hard-to-reach-areas.png" /></p> <p>Samah, who fled to find safety for her six children in the caves of surrounding mountains explained: “We are dying from cold, illness and hunger. I would rather be cooking rocks at my home than staying here waiting for an organization to bring me a food basket every once in a while,” said Samah.  </p> <p>More and more people have stories like Samah. Yet, 2014 also saw a drop in aid funding whilst rich countries pledged to resettle just a paltry number of refugees.</p> <p><strong>The political track to tackle this crisis has also stalled</strong>. As Lakhdar Brahimi, the second UN Peace Envoy to Syria to resign, said: there are “plans of war... no peace plans. I don’t see anybody saying “let’s stop fighting and let’s talk””. His replacement, Staffan de Mistura, has an unenviable task, trying to push reluctant parties to freeze the fighting in the city of Aleppo.</p> <h3>So what should be done?</h3> <p><strong>Security Council members can clearly do more</strong>, particularly as the main backers of some of those fighting. They can use their diplomatic, political and financial influence to push for peace talks. They can insist that their demand for an end to violations is heeded, they can stop sending guns, bullets and military support to violators themselves, and they can insist on accountability and justice for the victims.</p> <p>Neighboring countries and regional powers can also deescalate the conflict and implement practical changes to ease the plight of civilians. All governments can demand political action, offer a safe haven to 5 percent of refugees who have fled the violence and fully <a href="http://www.unocha.org/top-stories/all-stories/syria-un-and-partners-launch-major-appeal-2015" rel="nofollow">fund the humanitarian response</a>.</p> <p>And we, as global citizens, campaigners, any people with conscience or humanity, must stand #WithSyria. We can show solidarity with those who are both suffering and striving for a better future, and insist to governments that something has to change.</p> <p><strong>We must all stand <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WithSyria?src=hash" rel="nofollow">#WithSyria</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>This entry posted by Daniel Gorevan (<a href="http://twitter.com/Dgorevan" rel="nofollow">@DGorevan</a>), Oxfam policy advisor on the Syria Crisis and one of the authors of the report “<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-failing-syria-unsc-resolution-120315-en1.pdf" rel="nofollow">Failing Syria</a>”, on 25 March 2014.</em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="https://www.withsyria.com/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Stand with Syria now</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Support <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/syria-crisis" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's humanitarian response to the Syria crisis</a></strong></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong>Download the joint agency report: <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/sites/www.oxfam.org/files/file_attachments/bp-failing-syria-unsc-resolution-120315-en1.pdf" rel="nofollow">Failing Syria</a></strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Syria: a stain on the conscience of the world</h2></div> Wed, 25 Mar 2015 16:53:07 +0000 Daniel Gorevan 25733 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/15-03-25-syria-stain-conscience-world#comments