Oxfam International Blogs - Yemen http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/tags/yemen en Hope For Yemen as UK Arms to Saudi Arabia Ruled Unlawful http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-06-21-hope-yemen-uk-arms-saudi-arabia-ruled-unlawful <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>The UK Court of Appeal <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jun/20/uk-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia-for-use-in-yemen-declared-unlawful" rel="nofollow">has ruled</a> that the sale of UK arms being used by Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen are unlawful. The <a href="https://www.caat.org.uk/" rel="nofollow">Campaign Against Arms Trade</a> began this case three years ago. Oxfam has supported it as an intervenor, providing witness testimony about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and expert evidence about the protection of civilians under International Humanitarian Law.</strong></p><p>This is more than just some legal wrangle in London.</p><p><strong>Deadly hypocrisy</strong></p><p>Calling for peace while selling weapons that allow Saudi Arabia to continue bombing Yemen is an utter hypocrisy that is having deadly consequences for the people of Yemen. This Appeal Court ruling is a victory for them.</p><p>The suffering of people of Yemen is getting worse as the fighting and bombing continues.</p><p>The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees says there have been <a href="https://www.unhcr.org/uk/news/press/2019/3/5c8121734/100-civilian-casualties-week-yemen-2018.html" rel="nofollow">more than 17,000 verified civilian deaths and injuries</a> during the war.</p><p>The number of incidents in which children have been killed or injured have more than tripled between the last quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of this year.</p><p>Every month there are around 600 strikes against civilian infrastructure, with more than 100 hospitals, <a href="https://www.savethechildren.org/us/about-us/media-and-news/2019-press-releases/seven-killed-in-hospital-bombing-yemen" rel="nofollow">health facilities</a> and schools hit just last year alone. These are war crimes.</p><p><img alt="Photo: Airstrike destruction of civilian houses in Sana&#039;a, Yemen. Credit: Bassam Al-Thulaya/Oxfam`" title="Photo: Airstrike destruction of civilian houses in Sana&#039;a, Yemen. Credit: Bassam Al-Thulaya/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/ogb_117167_dsc_9761-bedroom-1240-credit.jpg" /></p><p><em>Photo: Airstrike destruction of civilian houses in Sana'a, Yemen. Credit: Bassam Al-Thulaya/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>The effects of four years of war</strong></p><p>More than 3.3 million Yemenis have been displaced, 10 million are on the brink of famine and 24 million need aid. The world’s worst cholera outbreak in happening in Yemen. All this is being caused by four years of war being fuelled by arms sold from outside Yemen including those by British companies.</p><p>The court rules that the British government should have suspended its sales as soon as the scale of war crimes and human rights abuses became clear. In refusing to assess the scale of attacks on civilians, the court says the UK government rendered its export licensing process unlawful.</p><p><strong>These arms are a 'clear risk'</strong></p><p>The ruling hinged on the definition of “clear risk”, the words in the consolidated criteria that the government uses to assess its decisions to grant arms exports.</p><p>Was there a “clear risk” that Saudi Arabia would use UK arms to attack civilians and civilian infrastructure? Even after multiple attacks on hospitals, markets, mosques, and aid projects including several Oxfam water projects, the UK government deliberately made no attempt to determine whether there had been a pattern of breaches of international humanitarian law, which should have informed them about the likelihood of future violations.</p><p>The British government has ignored years of such warnings and evidence. Why? Because the UK government has licensed <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/jun/20/uk-arms-sales-to-saudi-arabia-for-use-in-yemen-declared-unlawful" rel="nofollow">over £4.7 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia</a> since they went to war in Yemen, with unknown amounts of bombs additionally being sold through secretive “open licenses.”</p><p><img alt="Photo: Ibrahim, 43, with his children fled the fighting in Hajjah governorate, Yemen. Credit: Sami M. Jassar/Oxfam" title="Photo: Ibrahim, 43, with his children fled the fighting in Hajjah governorate, Yemen. Credit: Sami M. Jassar/Oxfam" height="800" width="1200" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/114830lpr-family-1200-credit.jpg" /></p><p><em>Ibrahim, 43, and his children fled the fighting in Hajjah governorate, and now live in a one-room house made of wood and threadbare cloths, with no access to food, water, education, or health services. One of Ibrahim’s children died from cholera infection. Credit: Sami M. Jassar/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Conflict causes poverty</strong></p><p>In Oxfam’s experience, we need to tackle the root causes that keep people locked into cycles of poverty and suffering in order to have a truly lasting impact on their lives. We not only <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">deliver life-saving water and aid</a> to people affected by the conflict in Yemen, we’re also doing everything possible to end the conflict as soon as possible.</p><p>This ruling offers real hope for the people of Yemen.</p><p>The British government must now immediately halt its arms transfers to Saudi Arabia and create a new process for licensing arms exports. This must comply with the UK’s obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty, the EU Common Position on Arms and its own domestic law to uphold human rights.</p><p><strong>An international trend</strong></p><p>This win is part of an international trend. Just last week the <a href="https://www.vrt.be/vrtnws/en/2019/05/10/foreign-ministers-calls-for-an-end-to-belgian-weapon-exports-to/" rel="nofollow">Belgian Council of State</a>, their highest court, ruled that continuing arms sales to Saudi Arabia are illegal, forcing changes in Belgian arms licensing procedures.</p><p><a href="https://thedefensepost.com/2019/03/29/germany-extends-saudi-arabia-arms-export-ban-september/" rel="nofollow">Germany</a> has suspended some sales to Saudi Arabia.</p><p>The US Congress has voted repeatedly to end weapons transfers to fuel the war in Yemen, however the Trump administration has overruled it.</p><p>The <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/saudi-arabia-arms-embargo-weapons-europe-germany-denmark-uk-yemen-war-famine-a8648611.html" rel="nofollow">Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark</a> have all suspended transfers to Saudi Arabia. A legal case is being prepared in Spain.</p><p>These legal processes are slow but they are beginning to force governments to do what they should have done voluntarily years ago – stop selling arms that are fuelling a terrible war in Yemen and killing women, men and children every day.</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>Photos: Airstrike destruction of civilian houses in Sana'a, Yemen. Credit: Bassam Al-Thulaya/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>Read more:</strong></p><ul><li><em><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen"><strong>More blogs on Yemen</strong></a></em></li><li><strong><em><strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Support Oxfam's humanitarian response in Yemen</a></strong></em><br></strong></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Hope For Yemen as UK Arms to Saudi Arabia Ruled Unlawful</h2></div> Fri, 21 Jun 2019 14:19:07 +0000 Martin Butcher 82004 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-06-21-hope-yemen-uk-arms-saudi-arabia-ruled-unlawful#comments Seven things you need to know about the war in Yemen http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-03-26-seven-things-you-need-know-about-war-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Yemen is experiencing what the UN describes as the ‘world’s worst’ humanitarian crisis. Ping us on <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam" rel="nofollow">social media</a> and tell us, how many of these seven things did you already know?</strong></p><p><strong>1. Hunger is rampant. </strong></p><p>Two thirds of Yemen's people rely on food aid to survive, and 14 million people are on the brink of famine.</p><p><strong>2. A ceasefire is urgent. </strong></p><p>Maintaining and expanding the ceasefire in and around Hudaydah is vital to millions of people who are struggling to survive. Yemenis desperately need all parties to the conflict to agree to an immediate countrywide ceasefire and return to negotiations committed to achieving a lasting peace.</p><p><strong>3. Peace must be inclusive. </strong></p><p>The pursuit of peace needs to be an inclusive political process which includes Yemeni women, youth and civil society, to bring an end to the conflict and suffering.</p><p><img alt="Fatima holds her son’s photo, who was killed by an airstrike when they were trying to find safety away from conflict’s frontlines in Yemen. Photo: VFX ADEN/Oxfam" title="Fatima holds her son’s photo, who was killed by an airstrike when they were trying to find safety away from conflict’s frontlines in Yemen. Photo: VFX ADEN/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/115865lpr-fatima-holds-pic-of-son-1240_0.jpg" /></p><p><em>Fatima holds her son’s photo, who was killed by an airstrike when they were trying to find safety away from conflict’s frontlines in Yemen. Photo: VFX ADEN/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>4. The crisis is entirely man-made, and is being fuelled by arms sales from the US and UK, among others. </strong></p><p>The world cannot continue to turn a blind eye to Yemen’s suffering and must <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/18-11-20-stop-bombs-yemen-starving">stop selling weapons for use in the war</a>.</p><p><strong>5. Women and children are hit hardest. </strong></p><p>The UN estimates that 3 million women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence. Children and young men have been coerced into joining armed groups, and many girls are forced into early marriage. Families are being forced to make the desperate choice to marry off their girls even as young as three years old to reduce the number of family members to feed, but also as a source of income in order to feed the rest of the family and pay off debts.</p><p><img height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/ogb_115958_oxfam-latrine-1240_0.jpg" alt="" /></p><p><em>Oxfam has provided latrines and other humanitarian assistance in hard to reach areas, like this remote village in Al Madaribah district, Lahj governorate, Yemen. Photo: VFX ADEN/Oxfam</em></p><p><strong>6. Oxfam is there. </strong></p><p>Since July 2015, working with local and international partners, we have <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">reached 3 million people</a> in Yemen with humanitarian aid. And we've stepped up our work there.</p><p><strong>7. We work alongside and through local partners in all areas of our response in Yemen. </strong></p><p>This includes water trucking, cholera prevention, repairing water systems and delivering filters and jerry cans. Oxfam also partners with local organizations 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.</p><p><strong>Read more</strong></p><ul><li><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/tags/yemen"><strong>Blogs on Yemen</strong></a></li><li><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong>Support Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</strong></a></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Seven things you need to know about the war in Yemen</h2></div> Tue, 26 Mar 2019 16:33:01 +0000 Joel M Bassuk 81912 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/19-03-26-seven-things-you-need-know-about-war-yemen#comments 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 Stop the war in Yemen http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-26-stop-war-yemen <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong><em>It's now been three years of war in Yemen. Meet Ahmed - he is only 14 but has a thousand reasons to end this inhuman war.</em></strong></p><p>In a camp for people forced to flee their homes due to the war in Abs district, Hajjah governorate, Ahmed lives with his younger brother and three sisters. He is only 14 but has a thousand reasons to end this inhuman war. His father was diagnosed with cancer, his house was bombed and his sheep, the family's main source of income, died. Thankfully the family survived and moved out to this camp in Abs.</p><p>The story doesn't end here, even though I wish it did. That would have been considered a happy ending compared to what actually happened. Earlier this year, and after seven months of suffering, Ahmed's father died, leaving his family behind to face poverty alone.</p><h3>Days without food</h3><p>Shortly after his father’s death, Ahmed was awakened by his sisters crying around their mother's body. Ahmed rushed into the room just to realize his mother had died.</p><p>After burying her, they all moved to live with their uncle, who later sent them back to the camp because he couldn't afford to take care of them along with his own large family.</p><p>Ahmed suffers from asthma and works to provide food and clothes for his siblings. He tries to work with any opportunity he can find, people give him whatever they call, sometimes a few dollars, most of the time nothing. His sister also collects firewood that he sells on the market in exchange for food. It happens that they spend days without food.</p><p><img alt="Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha camp for internally displaced people, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" title="Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha camp for internally displaced people, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/img_1123-ahmed-and-siblings-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha camp for internally displaced people, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam</em></p><h3>Famine threatens</h3><p>Famine is threatening eight million people across Yemen, and much of the country’s basic infrastructure has been bombed, including hospitals, schools, water-sources, factories, markets, bridges and ports.</p><p>Civil workers haven't been paid their salaries for over a year now, and the <strong><a href="https://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-humanitarian-response-plan-january-december-2018-enar" rel="nofollow">UN appeal for Yemen</a></strong> hasn't been fully funded for the third consecutive year, while vital life-saving ports are blocked for more than what people could afford.</p><p>Today in 2018, millions of people in Yemen are neglected and suffering, slowly battling starvation and disease. Our people have been bombed, killed, injured, scared, displaced, starved, blocked, sickened, and denied basic rights for nearly three years now.</p><p>All of this has happened in front of the very nations that promised to protect human rights. It has happened under the watch of the United Nations and, painfully, many international NGOs who are here with us, struggling on a daily basis to provide help, either because we’re denied access to local districts or because of the blockade of Yemen’s vital life-saving ports.</p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p>Through Oxfam, we have seen ugly truths that the world is silent about. We have seen death in people's eyes, bodies too hungry to live and malnourished small children suffering from cholera. We don't need to tell you what else we saw, because history is full of examples of war tragedies, some of which are still happening here in Yemen.</p><p>More than 5,500 civilians have died in this war and over 2,000 others have died of cholera, mostly children and the elderly.</p><p>Since July 2015, <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam has reached more than 2.8 million people</a></strong> with humanitarian assistance, with the help of our local partners. Yet over 22 million people are in dire need of immediate humanitarian assistance.</p><p><img alt="A displaced woman in Taiz governorate. Credit: Zeyad Ghanem/Oxfam" title="A displaced woman in Taiz governorate. Credit: Zeyad Ghanem/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/dsc_4420-woman-1240.jpg" /></p><h3>World leaders are silent</h3><p>And still, while the situation keeps on deteriorating, the war is being<strong> <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/article/38365529/from-egypt-to-saudi-arabia-heres-who-the-uk-is-selling-arms-to" rel="nofollow">fueled by arm sales</a></strong> that kill my people. World leaders silently continue to watch what many call the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and Yemen is facing a world-class humanitarian despair.</p><p>World leaders and the United Nations are failing humanity once again. We are disappointed and so are 29 million other Yemenis.</p><p>I desperately wish to see the war end and no more children to suffer like Ahmed. There are far too many families like Ahmed's.</p><p><img alt="People gather around a water tank provided by Oxfam in Khamir, a district in Amran governorate hosting many internally displaced people. Photo: Kate Wiggans/Oxfam" title="People gather around a water tank provided by Oxfam in Khamir, a district in Amran governorate hosting many internally displaced people. Photo: Kate Wiggans/Oxfam" height="826" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="4" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/oxfam-water-delivery-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>People gather around a water tank provided by Oxfam in Khamir, a district in Amran governorate hosting many internally displaced people. Oxfam engineers repaired an existing water network there, which reached 30% of families in the town with running water for the first time in 7 years. Credit: Kate Wiggans/Oxfam, June 2016</em></p><p><em>This entry posted by Ibrahim Yahia Alwazir, Social Media Officer, and Ahmed Al-Fadeel, Field Media Assistant, both Oxfam in Yemen, on 26 March 2018.</em></p><p><em>Top photo: Ahmed and his siblings in Al-Okasha IDP camp, Abs district, Hajjah governorate. Faces blurred to protect the children's identities. <em>Credit: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam.</em></em></p><ul><li><strong>Read <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/tags/yemen">more blogs about Yemen</a></strong></li><li><strong></strong><strong>Support <a rel="nofollow" href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen">Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</a></strong></li></ul><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Stop the war in Yemen</h2></div> Mon, 26 Mar 2018 10:01:02 +0000 Guest Blogger 81452 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-26-stop-war-yemen#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 Diary of an Oxfam aid worker http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-09-diary-oxfam-aid-worker <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>Originally from the Philippines, Duoi Ampilan has helped people facing disaster all over the world. Here, he tells us why his job is now more important than ever.</strong></em><br><br><strong>Dear Diary,</strong><br><br>So much has been said and written about our sector's issues and shameful experiences but not much on how we move heaven and earth; on how we face our fears every day; and how we sacrifice ourselves to be able to faithfully render our vowed responsibilities. It is not all about the work but the heart we put into our work and what we are willing to endure in the name of service.<br><br>Let me tell you, my Dear Diary, some of my experiences with Oxfam when I was deployed to some of the most difficult contexts on Earth. Among the closest to my heart is my 12 months of work in <strong><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-south-sudan" rel="nofollow">South Sudan</a></strong> before and after its independence. That is where I developed further the love for this work. I broke my heart many times because of the suffering of the people.<br><br>You can imagine a situation where people wait for two days to get a drinking water. Women and children in many villages walked hours in search for water. In the village of Amethaker in Gogrial East, children only wash every 3 weeks because the place was too dry during the six-month drought.<br><br>I am glad that we drilled some boreholes to some of these thirsty communities. It was so nice to hear people praising us because we quenched their thirst. But you know Dear Diary, much of the credit should be given to our supporters, who have been very generous in extending their love and generosity.<br><br>At this portion of my writing Dear Diary, I shed tears. I never cried when I was stung by scorpions twice in South Sudan, when I got malaria and typhoid fever. I cried as I asked myself what will happen if people will no longer support us for their regular donations because of the work of a few men? Because there are more people in many countries needing our support and services.<br><br><img alt="Doui leading the volunteers for the rehearsal on Hand-Washing dance, part of Oxfam&#039;s hygiene promotion program after Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines, November 2013." title="Doui leading the volunteers for the rehearsal on Hand-Washing dance, part of Oxfam&#039;s hygiene promotion program after Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines, November 2013." height="284" width="660" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/i-am-leading-the-volunteer-for-the-rehearsal-on-hand-washing-dance-typhoon-haiyan-in-philippines-680.jpg" /></p><p><em>Doui leading the volunteers for the rehearsal on Hand-Washing dance, part of Oxfam's hygiene promotion program after Typhoon Haiyan in Philippines, November 2013.&nbsp;Photo: Oxfam</em></p><p>Do you remember the <strong>Ebola outbreaks in West Africa</strong>? Among other humanitarian aid workers, I was called to respond but I refused. I was fearing for my life. But when I realized that I am living not only for myself but for others, then I had to conquer my fears and the uncertainties. I worked in Liberia and Sierra Leone in 2014 and 2015. I had to embrace the social stigma too. Nobody wanted to touch me or even sit beside me months after I served in West Africa.<br><br>I also worked in<a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong> Yemen</strong></a> in 2016 and 2017 even though my family and friends were persuading me to change career when they learned that I was heading to support the people pushed by the civil war into the desert and into the sea. It was not easy living under the falling bombs and also hearing the melancholy of the people day in and day out. I was trapped in Aden, my Dear Diary, when I needed to go home because my father passed away. Every day was very long and tormenting emotionally. I wanted to support my grieving family but I could not go home.</p><p>Dear Diary, if others are not true to their vowed promise to help people in need in times of calamity while working with any organization, please do not forget that there are those who are moving mountains to ensure that every cent that people give is reaching people who urgently need help.</p><p>Please do not forget too that many of us have lost their lives while we are delivering humanitarian services in many of the world's biggest crises.</p><p>I put my heart into my work because I know that not everyone has this honor and privilege to be of service to mankind this way.</p><p><em>Note from Oxfam:</em><br><em>If you'd like to send Duoi a message, please email <strong><a href="mailto:feedback@oxfam.org.uk" rel="nofollow">feedback@oxfam.org.uk</a></strong> and we will pass your message on.</em></p><p><em>Photo at top: Duoi checking hygiene kits in Yemen, where Oxfam, working with local partners, has reached more than 1.5 million people with humanitarian aid since July 2015. Credit: Oxfam</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Diary of an Oxfam aid worker</h2></div> Fri, 09 Mar 2018 12:53:01 +0000 Duoi Ampilan 81435 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/18-03-09-diary-oxfam-aid-worker#comments Yemen: The struggle to reach aid in the world's worst cholera outbreak http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-10-23-yemen-struggle-reach-aid-worlds-worst-cholera-outbreak <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>Yemen’s cholera outbreak has killed at least 2,177 people since 27 April. The World Health Organization now estimates the number of suspected cholera cases to be over 862,000, as of 22 October, making Yemen’s outbreak the world’s worst on record. In Haiti, as of 27 September last month, the WHO had recorded 813,026 suspected cases since 2010. Oxfam Public Health Promoter, Eva Niederberger, reports back on how challenging it is to reach cholera-affected people in Yemen.</em></p><h3>The cholera outbreak is widespread</h3><p>It’s more than 45 degrees C outside and I’m listening to Sameera, a pregnant woman living in Abs city. The city is located in Hajjah governorate, North of Yemen and has been severely affected by the current cholera outbreak.</p><p>Sameera tells me about her experience when her husband got infected by cholera few weeks ago. Her husband started to vomit and suffer from diarrhea shortly after having taken his cholera-affected relative to a public hospital. He soon took Oral Rehydration Salt, essential to prevent further dehydration, but his condition continued to worsen.</p><p>“I was really worried and not sure how I could protect myself of cholera whilst taking care of my sick husband. Luckily some of Oxfam’s volunteers were there to answer my questions and advised me what to do,” she explained.</p><p>Both Sameera and her husband didn’t trust the treatment available at the public hospital and decided to go to a private clinic. A few days later, Sameera’s husband recovered but the treatment costs had worsened their already precarious financial situation: before moving to Abs, Sameera was working as a teacher in Taiz and hadn’t been paid for several months. Her husband currently has no income either.</p><p><img alt="Badriyah Abdullah, 38 years old, is surrounded by her husband and children as she fights cholera. Photo: Abs, Hajjah – Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" title="Badriyah Abdullah, 38 years old, is surrounded by her family as she fights cholera. Photo: Abs, Hajjah – Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/eva-blog2-patient-bed-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Badriyah Abdullah, 38 years old, is surrounded by her husband and children as she fights cholera. A dozen members of her family got infected with the disease.&nbsp;Photo: Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam, Abs health center in Hajjah</em></p><h3>The need for better awareness</h3><p><strong>Trust in the given treatment options is critical</strong> for families when they have to decide whether to send a sick family member to the hospital or not – and ultimately save lives in a cholera outbreak. Equally important are traditions, habits and access to treatment. For example, a few days later I am with our public health team in Amran governorate which has to date more than 84,000 suspected cholera cases, counting 170 deaths.</p><p>We are trying to understand better how to motivate people to provide early rehydration to sick family members and refer them to a treatment centre if the condition doesn’t improve – both very important factors to reduce and prevent further epidemic spread.</p><p>We soon figure out that in some areas people would first rely on natural remedies – in few cases this helped patients; in others it delayed effective rehydration and risked to worsen people’s condition.&nbsp;</p><p>The provision of natural treatment is something which people would often do for less severe health issues: fever, stomach pain, diarrhea or headache. Since the cholera outbreak though, an increased number of affected people are now aware of the importance of oral rehydration salt (ORS). Weam, Oxfam’s Public Health Promotion Officer, tells me that there were four cholera cases in this village and that one man has died because of it.</p><p>“Therefore people here fear to get infected by cholera and try to do as much as they can to prevent it,” she said. However, in many cases ORS is not available in the local market, or people do not have the money to pay for transportation to travel to the market in the first place.</p><p><img alt="Zaid Ameen, 3 months old, is being treated for cholera in Abs health center in Hajjah. Photo:: Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" title="Zaid Ameen, 3 months old, is being treated for cholera in Abs health center in Hajjah. Photo:: Al-Fadeel/Oxfam" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/eva-blog3-baby-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Zaid Ameen, 3 months old, is being treated for cholera in Abs health center in Hajjah. Photo:: Al-Fadeel/Oxfam</em></p><h3>Difficulty to access treatment</h3><p><strong></strong>In both governorates, Amran and Hajjah, we also know that more lives could have been saved if treatment could have been brought closer to affected communities. For example in Al-Wadi village, close to Khamer city in Amran, people tell me that they have to sell the few remaining assets they have, such a jewellery or traditional daggers, to take a sick family member to the treatment center. Others are getting into debt.</p><p>Already in early June 2017, when <strong>over 400 cases per day</strong> were reported at MSF’s&nbsp; treatment center in Abs, their staff told me that there was an urgent need to support the set-up of oral rehydration points where people could quickly access rehydration - and if required being then referred for further treatment. But the response has been slow, hampered by getting customs clearance for supplies from abroad, the lack of critical items in the local market, and inconsistent approval processes to move material across the country.</p><p>In addition,<strong> access to highly affected communities remains a real challenge</strong>. For example, in Haradh district most of the people have fled due to the ongoing conflict but there are still almost 50,000 people who are in need of urgent assistance. However the risk that aid distributions and other assistance will be targeted by airstrikes is too high to be able to provide direct support. This makes it very difficult to get security clearances or travel permits to the area.</p><p>In other areas, access is only granted after long negotiations with different stakeholders - and even then not consistently guaranteed. Our teams try to develop creative solutions and help as best as they can. For example they work closely with the Ministry of Health to identify community health workers who could be engaged in the cholera response. These people are then trained in an accessible location to promote preventive measures back in their communities. They are further provided with chlorine sachets to make water safe for drinking as well as testing equipment to ensure the quality of treated water.</p><h3>Ensuring clean water</h3><p><strong>Yemen is a water scarce country</strong> and the lack of access to safe water the primary infection source of the ongoing cholera outbreak.</p><p>In Bani Hassan, an IDP camp in Hajjah district, I meet with Mohammed, one of Oxfam’s volunteers. He tells me that five years ago he was already volunteering with Oxfam back in Haradh but then had to flee from the conflict. Since the cholera outbreak, one of his main tasks involves the water quality testing. “Every day I follow-up to understand whether the water delivered by the network is safe for drinking. I test the water quality of the communal tanks and also in some households.”</p><p>I ask him whether people agree that he comes to their tent for water testing. “People know me here very well and they trust me.”</p><p><img alt="Oxfam has rehabilitated water chambers and latrines in various hospitals, treatment centers and other health facilities. Photo::Omar Algunaid/Oxfam, Aden" title="Oxfam has rehabilitated water chambers and latrines in various hospitals, treatment centers and other health facilities. Photo::Omar Algunaid/Oxfam, Aden" height="827" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="3" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/eva-blog4-axfam-equipment-1240.jpg" /></p><p><em>Oxfam has rehabilitated water chambers and latrines in Al Gomhoriah Hospital in Al Mu’allaa, as well as in Diarrhea Treatment Centers and several other health facilities. Photo::Omar Algunaid/Oxfam,&nbsp; Aden</em></p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p>In some of those inaccessible areas people have mobile phones and there is network, and our Public Health team created a WhatsApp group with a wide network of volunteers. These volunteers often send pictures to document their activities and/or inform about new cases. Our teams check in with them on a daily basis to respond to different queries, take up the case notification to epidemiological units within the districts, and provide technical advice in line with health risks fostering the epidemic spread.</p><p>This was the third time that I travelled to Yemen to support Oxfam’s humanitarian program: in 2011 our public health program looked at the increasing rates of malnutrition resulting from the economical and political crisis and increasing poverty levels. I returned in 2015, a few months after the escalation of the conflict, working on access to water, hygiene and sanitation in Taiz - an area heavily affected by ongoing fighting, which cut off over 100,000 people from desperately needed aid.</p><p>Two years later the situation has worsened again with the world's worst cholera outbreak, on the top of a war torn country.</p><p><em>This entry posted on 23 October 2017, by Eva Niederberger, Oxfam Public Health Promotion Adviser, who spent three weeks in Yemen.</em></p><p><em><em><em>Oxfam is <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">delivering essential aid</a> in both the north and south of Yemen, and since 2015 we have reached 1.2 million people across the frontlines.</em></em></em></p><p><em><em>Photo at top: Ahmed Ali sits next to his son Qassem*, 5 years old, who was already suffering from malnutrition, epilepsy, and inability to speak, and now cholera. Credit: Abs, Hajjah – Ahmed Al-Fadeel/Oxfam Yemen</em></em></p><h3>What you can do now</h3><p><strong>Donate to <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam's Yemen Crisis Appeal</a></strong></p><p><strong>Read more <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/tags/yemen">blogs on Oxfam in Yemen</a></strong></p><p><em>&nbsp;</em></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Yemen: The struggle to reach aid in the world&#039;s worst cholera outbreak</h2></div> Mon, 23 Oct 2017 17:19:29 +0000 Eva Niederberger 81261 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-10-23-yemen-struggle-reach-aid-worlds-worst-cholera-outbreak#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 Yemen: The story of a war-affected people, strong in the face of adversity http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-06-12-yemen-story-war-affected-people-strong-face-adversity <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>A moving first-hand account of the effects of the terrible conflict Yemen has been suffering for the past few years, but a call to remain hopeful, however, that peace will arise after the war’s darkness. This entry posted by Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Oxfam Yemen’s Country Director, on 12 June 2017.</em></p><p><strong>As the sun rises, covering the rocky mountains with a coat of gold, we are welcomed to Yemen by fishermen and dolphins jumping out of the blue water.</strong> <br><br>After a 14-hour boat journey from Djibouti, the view of Aden city in the early morning was a magical sight. At first, life in the city looked normal: road dividers were freshly painted, people were chatting while sipping red tea or having breakfast in small restaurants, youth were playing pool in the streets, and taxis were shouting to collect their passengers. However, as we moved in the city, buildings riddled with bullet holes appeared, several residential areas and hotels had their roof collapsed, and cars were waiting in long queues for petrol. <br><br>This tableau of contrasts was telling the story of Aden.<br><br>The second day after our arrival, we travelled to Lahj with the Aden team. Our conversation kept switching between the work Oxfam does in Aden and other Southern governorates, and the destruction passing before our eyes, a terrible witness of the conflict Yemen has been suffering for the past few years.</p><h3>Oxfam is there</h3><p>In such a volatile and insecure environment, <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam continues to provide</a> water, improved sanitation and basic hygiene assistance to more than 130,000 affected individuals in Lahj governorate. The team sometimes travels for more than two to three hours to reach the target location. Community engagement is thus key to deliver assistance. Our staff along with community based volunteers consults affected community as well as key leaders to identify the intervention. The affected community not only participates in water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion activities, but also works closely with host communities to ensure that social harmony is maintained. &nbsp;<br><br>In Lahj, the focus is to rebuild the water supply system to help both displaced persons as well as local communities, and Oxfam works with the local water and sanitation authority to ensure the sustainability and viability of the rehabilitated system. Displaced people in these areas used to collect water only once in a week because of the long distances they had to walk to reach the wells. Now, both IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) and host communities can access water on daily basis.</p><p>Meeting community members made clear that war has impacted everyone, and they all share their grief and pain and support each other. The strong bonding between displaced people and host communities despite their high level of hardship also indicates that Yemeni people have come a long way through several wars and conflict and are therefore more resilient.</p><p><img alt="Water tank built by Oxfam in Al-Jalilah village, in Al-Dhale governorate. Credit: Omar Algunaid/Oxfam, March 2017" title="Water tank built by Oxfam in Al-Jalilah village, in Al-Dhale governorate. Credit: Omar Algunaid/Oxfam, March 2017" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="1" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/img_4753-water-tower-1240.jpg" /></p><h3>Hunger is rampant</h3><p>The impact of war and conflict in Aden and surrounding governorates is very high. More than two million people were affected since the beginning of the crisis. Food insecurity in Lahj, Abyan and Al Dhale is rising and remain among the governorates in Yemen with high food assistance need. <br><br>The tragedy and suffering of Abdullah, a 70-year-old man who had to flee Abyan during the peak of the war, speaks for itself. However, he does believe that peace will return back to Yemen, but to survive, he had to mortgage his pension card to feed his family. There are many invisible people like him who probably would like to see peace come back to Yemen so their impoverished lives can improve.</p><h3>Displacement crisis</h3><p>Tough host communities initially provided spaces to displaced persons, but in addition now, displaced people have started settling down in barren land areas on their own. Those who managed to return back to their original location are now severely impacted by a cholera outbreak. Lack of provision of salaries to government employees have further added burden to the households who host displaced families. Water, food assistance and healthcare remain the top three priorities. Hardship has reached to a threshold where affected people are willing to mortgage anything and everything they can. Basic services and utilities including water, education and health have been halted to a greater extent and therefore increasing stress on affected communities.</p><p></p><p><img alt="Oxfam Yemen Country Director, Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, visits the pumping room in Al-Roweed village, as part of the water project Oxfam implemented in the area. Credit: Omar Algunaid/Oxfam" title="Oxfam Yemen Country Director, Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, visits the pumping room in Al-Roweed village, as part of the water project Oxfam implemented in the area. Credit: Omar Algunaid/Oxfam" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" data-delta="2" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/sajid-roweed-1240.jpg" /></p><h3>Fighting cholera</h3><p>Saleema* is community health volunteer who works with Oxfam and is a true agent for change. She raises awareness with the affected communities on the importance of clean and safe water.&nbsp; She visits houses and speaks to women, elders and young girls to ensure key health messages are understood and applied. Increasing numbers of youth, such as Saleema, support affected communities to rebuild their lives and to help build social cohesion.&nbsp;</p><p>Last year when a <a href="https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=6&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0ahUKEwjk0Pjcv8LUAhXmAMAKHau4B4wQFghUMAU&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fnews%2Fworld-middle-east-40200017&amp;usg=AFQjCNFsabtoiG2t_57FBhuqIWm2Cx3Hyw&amp;sig2=jtJ9O0LotgG8yGKOyleoLg" rel="nofollow">cholera outbreak</a> was declared in Yemen, Aden was one of the governorates among others like Al-Hudaydah where most suspected cases were registered.</p><h3>Resilience in the face of darkness</h3><p>As we returned from Lahj, the smell and taste of Mindi (local chicken meal with rice) and mouth watering local paratha (wheat based chapati) reminded us that that Yemeni people’s resilience had also stood strong in the face of adversity.</p><p>As the Apollo boat finally departed Aden after sunset, with the noise of waves gushing in and the dark smudging in, we remembered that a beautiful sunrise would welcome us upon arrival, in a similar way that humanitarian needs in Aden and surrounding governorates continue to grow. We remain hopeful, however, that peace will arise after the war’s darkness.</p><p><em>This entry posted by Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, <a href="https://twitter.com/oxfamyemen" rel="nofollow">Oxfam Yemen</a>’s Country Director, on 12 June 2017.</em><br><em>*Name changed to protect identity.</em></p><p><em>Yemen is in the grip of a runaway cholera epidemic that is killing one person nearly every hour and if not contained will threaten the lives of thousands of people in the coming months. We're calling for a massive aid effort and an immediate ceasefire to allow health and aid workers to tackle the outbreak.</em></p><p><em><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong>Please donate to Oxfam's Yemen Appeal</strong></a><br></em></p><p><em><strong><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen">Read more blogs on Yemen</a><br></strong></em></p><p><em>Photos:<br></em></p><ul><li><em>Ghodrah and Taqeyah fill their jerrycans from the Oxfam water distribution point in Al-Dukm village, Lahj governorate. Credit: Omar Algunaid/Oxfam, April 2017</em></li><li><em>Water tank built by Oxfam in Al-Jalilah village, in Al-Dhale governorate. Credit: Omar Algunaid/Oxfam, March 2017</em></li><li><em>Oxfam Yemen Country Director, Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, visits the pumping room in Al-Roweed village, as part of the water project Oxfam implemented in the area. Also there, Al-Melah district Manager and members of the water management committee. Credit: Omar Algunaid/Oxfam, February 2017</em></li></ul></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Yemen: The story of a war-affected people, strong in the face of adversity</h2></div> Mon, 12 Jun 2017 13:07:42 +0000 Guest Blogger 81103 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-06-12-yemen-story-war-affected-people-strong-face-adversity#comments Yemen: Resilience in the face of starvation http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-05-29-yemen-resilience-face-starvation <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>A shocking humanitarian situation in Yemen is unfolding in front of our eyes.</strong></p><p>Two years ago, no one predicted that the conflict and war would continue, leaving millions in acute and severe malnutrition, lacking access to safe and clean water and without shelter.</p><p>Yet today Yemen is <a href="http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/un-security-council-must-act-end-man-made-humanitarian-crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow">one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises</a> and our own ground experience indicates that slowly but certainly, if the situation continues, extreme starvation will not be a mirage anymore, but a life and death reality.</p><p>A <a href="http://www.oxfam.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/2017/03/oxfam-warns-possible-attack-on-yemen-hodeidah-port-will-push-country-into-near-certain-famine" rel="nofollow">possible attack against Al-Hudaydah port</a>, the entry point for an estimated 70 per cent of Yemen's food imports, and in the absence of any clear viable alternative, would also severely impact the humanitarian situation and put millions further at risk.</p><h3>Millions of people are suffering</h3><p>The victims of this crisis are the millions of people who were forced to flee their homes and are now displaced in their own country. They are the ones who suffer the most and who will continue to suffer if the war is prolonged. Facing starvation, malnutrition, fear, insecurity, lack of opportunities, income, and <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/pressreleases/2017-05-16/yemen-swift-injection-funds-needed-after-capital-hit-surge-new" rel="nofollow">disease outbreaks such as cholera</a>, their daily lives have become miserable. Droughts, floods and extreme weather add further misery.</p><p>Every time we visited displaced families, we felt completely lost, speechless and blank. How did they and many others managed to come this far with the extraordinary difficulties they have been facing for the last 24 months. How did they move forward while living under gusts of wind that shatter their shelters which are made of plastic bottles, leaves, and bush trees? The heavy rains ultimately swamp everything, forcing them to pick up the pieces and reconstruct new shelters from scratch.</p><p>Fateema,* a 12-year-old girl takes care of three siblings younger than her. Their father died during the conflict and their mother no longer lives with them. There are many families like Fateema’s, where children head the household.</p><p><img alt="Water trucking distribution in Al-Manjorah camp, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017" title="Water trucking distribution in Al-Manjorah camp, Hajjah, Yemen. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017" height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/water-camp-yemen1240x680.jpg" /></p><h3>Rampant hunger</h3><p>Food insecurity is very high among these people. The challenge to survive and thrive is an enormous burden on these young children. Securing meals everyday is their top priority where there is hardly any unskilled or appropriate job available.</p><p>Crisis can make someone very strong but to be resilient in these circumstances reveals some extraordinary courage. Fateema, like many others, has that courage to stay in the open field in a makeshift tent along with her siblings. She also stitches clothes and sells them to nearby families to get money for food.</p><p>The recent release of <a href="http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/IPC_Yemen_AcuteFI_Situation_March-July2017_ENversion.pdf" rel="nofollow">IPC report</a>, though famine was not declared, clearly shows that the situation is worsening by the day. Of all life-threatening issues displaced people are facing, the most alarming one is that people eat less and less food, in many cases only one meal a day.</p><p>In Hajjah and Al-Hudaydah, girls and women are in a more precarious situation than other household members. Sometimes, women and girls’ only meal also has to be sacrificed due to a cultural practice where men and boys will eat first, leaving only leftovers for the women and girls. This is an example of how malnutrition is increasing at a household level.</p><p><img alt="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 *Name changed." title="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 *Name changed." height="680" width="1240" class="media-element file-default" typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://l.blogs.oxfam/sites/default/files/105268lpr-girl-water-1240-moayed.jpg" /></p><h3>Collapsing economy</h3><p>The situation in the host communities is equally bad where the head of the household earns less because of the crisis, while sometimes around 15 to 20 people have to share the food that is available.</p><p>On the ground, local markets still function and basic foods items such as wheat flour, cooking oil, vegetables, and rice are available. However, people’s decreasing daily income limits their affordability. On their other hand, except for bread, the prices of others food items kept increasing for the past two years – they are on average 22 percent higher than before the war.</p><h3>Humanitarian access</h3><p>The de-facto blockade and access impediments inside the country have also impacted the imports and deliveries of food but small and local traders in Hajjah and Al-Hudaydah have been able to kept selling staple foods in an unhindered manner. In these circumstances, in order to afford daily meals, displaced families resort to selling their only valuable asset which is livestock.</p><h3>The wish for peace</h3><p>The <a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/16-12-05-finding-hope-yemen-i-witness-never-ending-war">resilience of Yemeni people</a> cannot be expressed in words. The hardship is unbearable for children like Fateema who will become invisible in the days and years to come due to the loss of her childhood.</p><p><strong>We wish for peace in Yemen</strong> to be restored so that the future generation can grow with the dream to become what they want and not what war and conflict wants them to be.</p><p><em>This entry posted by Arvind Kumar, Oxfam Yemen’s Humanitarian Program Coordinator, on 26 May 2017.</em></p><p><em>*Name changed.</em></p><p><em>Photos:</em></p><ul><li><em>Fatima, in Al-Manjorah IDP camp, in Hajjah governorate. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017</em></li><li><em></em><em>Water trucking distribution in Al-Manjorah camp, Hajjah. Credit: Moayed Al-Shaibani/Oxfam, February 2017</em></li><li><em>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 *Name changed.</em></li></ul><p></p><h3>What you can do</h3><p></p><p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/emergencies/crisis-yemen" rel="nofollow"><strong>Donate to Oxfam's humanitarian work in Yemen</strong></a></p><p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/search/node/yemen"><strong>Read more blogs on Yemen</strong></a></p><p></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Yemen: Resilience in the face of starvation</h2></div> Mon, 29 May 2017 12:30:15 +0000 Guest Blogger 81075 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/en/blogs/17-05-29-yemen-resilience-face-starvation#comments