Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen: How You Can Help
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Norah Nowarah | Whitby, ON
As you might have heard, Yemen is currently facing “the worst humanitarian crisis the world has ever seen” (Yee). Since the civil war broke out in 2015 and Saudi-led forces placed economic sanctions on Yemen in 2017, the country has become ‘a living hell’ – especially for the children ("Yemen Crisis"). UNICEF reports that one Yemeni child dies of a preventable death every ten minutes ("Humanitarian Crisis: Help Save Children In Yemen"). For an idea of how severe the situation is, here are some statistics from an infographic produced by Islamic Relief Canada (found under ‘Additional Links’):
24 million people need humanitarian aid for survival.
17.8 million need war and sanitation facilities.
19.7 million people need basic healthcare.
3.3. million people are internally displaced.
But how did Yemen get to this state? What exactly was the 2015 civil war about? How did Saudi Arabia even get involved? Below, I have included a 3-minute video describing it all.
Well, what has been done by countries around the world to help Yemen?
At this year’s Pledging Conference, The United Nations said $2.4 billion was needed to “pull Yemen from the brink of further disaster” (Yee). However, only $1.35 was raised at the conference. This means services in nearly 400 health care centers and hospitals will be reduced in the midst of a coronavirus outbreak in Yemen (Yee). This also means more Yemenis are being pushed towards starvation, keeping in mind that 10,000 health care workers have lost their only salaries and 8.5 million have already had their food rations cut by half (Yee).
So, what can you do to help? Here are some ways you can help Yemen today!
Raising awareness is key for supporting those in Yemen. By spreading the word, you are psychologically placing a responsibility on others to take action in any way - no matter how small that action may be (Beck). You can do this by simply having conversations about the crisis with your family or by sharing informative posts on your Instagram story!
Under 'Additional Links,' I have added a link to a sample email produced by Islamic Relief that you can use to spread awareness. Additionally, I have added two links to articles if you would like to understand the Yemeni crisis in more detail.
Signing petitions is another way you can help place pressure on international organizations (i.e. United Nations) and governments to take action. While it may not feel like you aren't doing much, petitions are proven to be effective at inciting action (Maxouris). As CNN writer, Christina Maxouris, says:
"Petitions offer an opportunity for organizations to step in and guide their newfound supporters into a multitude of next steps in working toward a cause, turning them from just supportive bystanders into active members in a movement" (Maxouris).
With this in mind, here are six petitions you can sign:
"Stop the war and end the famine in Yemen" - currently at 2,662,500+ signatures!
"Save Yemen From Extinction" - currently at 175,460+ signatures!
"Force House Vote on Saudi War in Yemen to Stop Cholera & Famine" - currently at 151,750+ signatures!
"The US Could Prevent 14 million Deaths By Starvation In Yemen" - currently at 141,370+ signatures!
"End The War in Yemen: Start The Peace Talks" - currently at 139,500+ signatures!
"Support WFP's Hunger Relief Mission in Yemen" - currently at 66,180+ signatures!
Donating to humanitarian organizations is by far the most effective way you can help the people of Yemen directly. Here are three of them you can donate to:
UNICEF: UNICEF is currently "working to save children’s lives and to help them cope with the impact of conflict by providing victim assistance and education on mines and explosive remnants of war, plus other vital services" ("Humanitarian Crisis: Help Save Children In Yemen"). As for their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF has already sent more than "33,000 N95 respirators, 33,000 face shields, and 18,000 gowns for frontline workers" ("Humanitarian Crisis: Help Save Children In Yemen").
Islamic Relief (IR): Assisting people in Yemen since 1998, this organization "is on the ground in 17 of the country’s 22 governorates, providing medical support and urgent food aid" ("Yemen Emergency Appeal"). With over 300 staff members and 3,000 volunteers in the country, Islamic Relief has helped over 3.4 million Yemenis last year alone! ("Yemen Emergency Appeal").
The International Rescue Committee (IRC): Working in Yemen since 2012, the IRC is providing emergency aid and clean water to villages on the south side of Yemen ("Yemen"). In the midst of the pandemic, this organization "continues to deliver urgent health care and nutrition to those displaced by the war and people living in remote, hard-to-reach areas, and reproductive healthcare to pregnant women and new mothers" ("Yemen").
If you are unable to donate directly, that's okay too! You can always donate indirectly through “Stream to Donate” videos on YouTube. Here are three of them:
"WATCH TO DONATE YEMEN" - donating 100% of video's AD revenue!
"watch to donate: there's something important we NEED to talk about" - donating 100% of video's AD revenue!
"DONATE BY WATCHING THIS VIDEO #SAVEYEMEN" - donating 100% of video's profits!
Please remember that every contribution helps the people of Yemen. If you would like, share this article to help provide others with ways they can help Yemenis. Moreover, I have added a link for more resources under 'Additional Links' below if you are looking for more. You could
Link to the infographic by Islamic Relief: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/18ieAu5QZUTJVP9QJzHKjI5ZuxjYhFD7B
Article to learn more about Yemeni conflict (1):
Article to learn more about Yemeni conflict (2): https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/38317367
Link to sample email by Islamic Relief: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1q6U-pUiPEmzI4PSZNjTZbMN73m85XR9nrOBcYjLakh4/edit
Link for more resources to help Yemen: https://yemencrisis.carrd.co/
Beck, Julie. "What Good Is 'Raising Awareness?'". The Atlantic, 2015,
awareness/391002/. Accessed 29 June 2020.
Christina, Maxouris."Online Petitions Work Best When You Do More Than Just Sign".CNN,
trnd/index.html. Accessed 27 June 2020.
"Humanitarian Crisis: Help Save Children In Yemen".UNICEF Canada, 2020,
https://www.unicef.ca/en/donate/help-save-children-in-yemen. Accessed 30 June
Yee, Vivian. "Yemen Aid Falls Short, Threatening Food And Health Programs".NYTimes, 2020,
nations-aid.html. Accessed 30 June 2020.
"Yemen". International Rescue Committee (IRC), 2020,
https://www.rescue.org/country/yemen#how-does-the-irc-help-in-yemen. Accessed 29
"Yemen Crisis".Unicef, 2020, https://www.unicef.org/emergencies/yemen-crisis. Accessed
29 June 2020.