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Yemeni women carrying water (photo: Tearfund Partner)

The worst thing to happen in the world's worst humanitarian crisis

By Andrew Horton | 29 May 2020

Yemen was one of the last countries worldwide to declare a confirmed case of Covid-19 (10 April). In a nation facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis our partner organisation knew it had to act quickly to prevent the spread of the virus.

At the time of writing, Yemen now has 233 confirmed cases and 44 deaths. As is the case in many countries the actual figures are likely to be higher because of challenges in carrying out coronavirus tests, particularly in a conflict zone.

If coronavirus takes a stronger grip in Yemen it will be devastating as many hospitals and health facilities have been destroyed in the fighting.

Across Yemen 24 million people are in need of humanitarian aid and 9.9 million are at risk of starvation. The nation is also facing one of the biggest cholera outbreaks on record, with more than one million cases reported.

Our partner organisation knew it had to act quickly

On the move
Our partner staff have been giving out hygiene kits and literature promoting good practices for preventing the spread of the virus. More than 4,000 brochures and 1,000 posters have been produced so far. And they are also sharing prevention messages via text messages.

Despite a lockdown, our partner has been granted special permission by the authorities to travel between cities, meaning it can reach more people.

The life-saving work our partner has been doing before the coronavirus crisis continues, including food distributions and cash-for-work projects. But there are added challenges to face. Physical distancing, increased handwashing and discouraging crowds to gather is now the ‘new normal’ here.

‘Yemen is in the midst of a civil war,’ says Karen Soerensen, Tearfund Country Director for Yemen. ‘The economy is struggling, food prices are rising and the health service is near breaking point. There have even been deadly floods across southern Yemen too. Please pray that the people of Yemen can be spared any more suffering.’


Please support our Yemen Appeal – your prayers and gifts are urgently needed.

Written by

Written by Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.

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