Step inside one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises

Seven years of conflict has dramatically changed everyday life in Yemen.

Today, over twenty million people need humanitarian assistance and some four million have fled their homes. The death toll from Yemen’s war as of the end of 2021 was projected to be 377,000 people, according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Nearly 70 per cent of those killed are said to be children under the age of five.

The lives of displaced people have gone from bad to worse.

“Poverty and hunger are the sole companions for displaced people over the past seven long years,”describes Abbas Mohammed, a 30 year-year-old displaced father.

Another displaced woman, Fatima Othman, 50, who lost her husband seven years ago describes the night terrors she experiences:

“I often wake up in the middle of the night terrified and calling out for my kids: Sadan, Shima, Gharb. My daughter Shima brings a cup of water and hugs me to calm me down,” she says.

“Then, I look around the house and ask the children, ‘Where is your father?’ They always say the same thing: ‘he died seven years ago’. I embrace and kiss them. This is how I wake up after having a nightmare of that cursed night.”

The city and residential landscapes have changed due to the conflict, too. Some of the once-busiest areas in in south-west Yemen’s Taiz city are now almost empty. Many houses were damaged while residents fled to look for shelter in safe places.

At the same time, a desert in Lahj governorate where previously no-one lived due to harsh conditions is now full of thousands of displaced people who have sought safety. People live in tents exposed to the elements and lack basic services.

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