The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is at its worst since the start of the conflict in 2015. Though the country and its needs are not often featured in the news, Yemen has earned the sad distinction of being the country with the greatest humanitarian need in the world.
Healthcare is among the areas hardest hit by the conflict. Hospitals and health facilities have not been spared the ravages of war. With dwindling resources, health care providers are less able to continue working, and are deprived of a means to provide for their families. A worsening fuel crisis complicates the transport of critical supplies. Entire regions have been left without life-saving care.
ADRA, with funding from the Government of Canada, is working hard to meet the needs. From April 2018 to March 2020, ADRA provided health care facilities and personnel in one of the most war-torn areas of the country with resources and supplies. This project served 225,715 people, of which 121,532 were women.
The project renovated and fully equipped three health units, including a fully functional laboratory.
The project is also helping to pay the salaries of health care providers, including doctors, obstetricians, midwives, nurses, and nutrition experts, so that they can continue to help their communities while also providing for their families.
It is difficult for hospitals to obtain all the types of medication they need and in the quantities they need. ADRA is able to help fill this need. With a transportation network in place, ADRA procures and transfers the medicines to where they are most needed.
Through a referral and transportation system, over 500 patients whose cases were too complicated for their local health facility were sent to a hospital in the capital of Sana’a. This hospital is better equipped to deal with surgeries and advanced care. This referral system provides each patient with a patient ID card, a transport voucher, and a caregiver. They are then able to travel to the referral hospital and receive the care they need. Without this assistance, most patients would not be able to afford the trip.
The project is also addressing malnutrition, especially in children under five years old and women. Through its nutrition experts and trainings, ADRA is teaching Yemenis the importance of breastfeeding, a balanced diet, and hygiene and sanitation. Over 15,000 malnourished children and women received full treatment.
In addition to healthcare and nutrition, the project is addressing protection issues such as gender-based violence. In times of difficulty, often the most vulnerable – children, girls, and women – suffer additional abuse. Through trainings and resources, the project is seeking to teach more positive ways of coping with stress and the many benefits that can be enjoyed when the entire family is protected.
We are deeply grateful that this work will continue for another two years. The current health and nutrition project will deliver life-saving medical assistance through the support of three hospitals and several clinics.
ADRA has become known for working with determination, principles, and consistency in some of the most sensitive and difficult areas in Yemen. This is especially true of the ADRA staff working on the ground in Yemen. We are grateful for this opportunity to save lives and to serve so that all may live as God intended.