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

Written by Tearfund | 28 May 2020

Yemeni women carrying water (photo: Tearfund Partner)

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.’


  • Lift up the people of Yemen who have faced such challenges in recent years, pray for them to know hope and peace again very soon.
  • Pray for our partner in Yemen as they continue to deliver life-saving aid to those in great need.
  • Pray that a large scale outbreak doesn’t occur and place great strain on the already-stretched health services.

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

Written by

Written by  Tearfund

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