accessibility & help

Red Cross bolsters support to Yemen

25 May 2016

The Red Cross is now delivering essential water, food, health kits and shelter to help people caught up in the devastating conflict in Yemen. Donations to our Yemen Crisis Appeal have been essential in funding this vital relief effort.

One of the world’s most serious emergencies

Michael Van Koesveld, Yemen country manager at the British Red Cross said: “The Yemen crisis continues to be one of the most serious worldwide.

“One in ten people – over two million Yemenis – have had to flee their homes because of fighting.

“We are glad to be able to increase support to the Red Cross’ work in Yemen, where people face severe shortages of water, medical supplies and food.”

In addition to those affected by fighting, 13,500 people had to leave their homes when two cyclones hit Yemen’s coast last year. Most have still not been able to return.

Yemen is also hosting 260,000 refugees, mostly fleeing conflicts in East Africa.

“Overall, 80 per cent of the population now needs humanitarian aid,” Michael added.

Water tanks will support good health

Water was in short supply in parts of Yemen even before the current crisis. Now, the lack of safe drinking water caused by damage from the fighting puts people at high risk of diseases.

To help prevent illness, the Red Cross will provide 15 water tanks in communities with acute water shortages. Each tank holds 4,000 litres of water and can meet approximately 15 families’ basic needs.

The Red Cross will truck in water to refill each tank every day for six months. To make sure that the water service will continue after that, we will work with other organisations in the area to support local people to keep it going.

Good hygiene – such as washing hands and using sanitary toilets – is also essential for health so we will distribute hygiene kits to 400 families most in need.  The kits include essentials such as toothbrushes, towels and nappies, which will be bought locally to support Yemen’s economy.

Four hundred families who have left everything behind and cannot afford food will get Red Cross food parcels as well.

Help with day-to-day needs

For people who have had to flee with almost nothing, the Red Cross will supply tents, pots, clothes and mattresses.

Working with local teams, we will keep 150 tents for emergency evacuations around the country so that they will be ready when families need them. The same goes for plastic sheeting, which will be stored in warehouses to give to households who need it over the coming months. 

Kits to treat the injured

First aid has been vital to stabilise people with injuries before they can reach health facilities. Since hundreds of hospitals and clinics in the country have been destroyed, it is sometimes all the treatment that people get.

To help keep this essential service going, we will supply 150 first aid and emergency rescue kits to eight Yemen Red Crescent branches most likely to be affected by armed conflict.

The first aid kits include bandages, soap, iodine and other essentials for emergency medical treatment.

The emergency rescue kits support longer term health care and include drugs and medical equipment such as syringes, scalpels and splints.

“All of this is part of our ongoing commitment to Yemen,” Michael Van Koesveld said.

“In the past year, the British Red Cross has pledged over a quarter of a million pounds to support people caught in Yemen’s silent emergency.”

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