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Caught between conflict, flooding, and Covid

A group of people standing next to a truck with a goat

Fatim while receiving three pregnant goats from CARE, with funding from ADH

Fatim while receiving three pregnant goats from CARE, with funding from ADH

In 2020 multiple waves of floods hit different parts of Yemen, changing people’s lives from bad to worse. Torrential rain and flash floods exacerbated poverty and people’s suffering in Milhan district of Al Mahwit governorate in northwest Yemen.

The already vulnerable inhabitants of Milhan faced additional hardships as the heavy rains caused massive destruction to their livelihoods as well as shelters and farmlands; in addition to blocking the roads, which was a huge burden. In a country with seemingly never-ending suffering, the population of this district suffered from the lack of basic services, and following the immense trauma of floods they became at an even greater risk of hunger, disease outbreaks and more.

The story of 59-year-old woman Fatim Aljarshi is one such example of thousands of people who suffer the aftermath of a series of painful incidents caused by war and floods. In addition to her being severely affected by conflict and floods like many women in her district, Fatim faces extra burdens. She is a woman who has to shoulder the responsibility of being the breadwinner of a very low-income family. Additionally, she is a mother of a young blind and disabled man.

“In this difficult situation, a poor mother like me has nothing to do except to rely on the help of other villagers for food,” says Fatim, with tears in her eyes. “It breaks my heart when sometimes I can’t find food. My blind son and I often only have dry bread and tea from the early morning till the time we sleep.” Caught between conflict, flooding and the COVID-19 pandemic, flood-affected families like Fatim’s found themselves helpless and in dire need of assistance.

A man giving a woman a package
Fatim also received a veterinary kit to help her take care of her goats

Following the disaster, CARE received an urgent appeal from the local authorities to provide emergency assistance to vulnerable families hit by the flood. To enable these flood-affected households to withstand the dreadful effects of the floods and to help them become resilient, with generous funding from Germany’s Relief Coalition (Aktion Deutschland Hilft – ADH), CARE urgently intervened in Milhan district, distributing cash as well as hygiene kits, non-food items and livestock.

Recognising that women are more vulnerable to conflict and floods, CARE prioritised female-headed households. One hundred flood-affected households headed by women including Fatim’s family received 300 pregnant goats to improve households’ recovery and resilience. They also received a veterinary kit to enable them to care for the goats.

Fatim received three pregnant goats and as she expresses her thanks for CARE’s timely assistance, she says: “From now on, I do not feel alone. I will look after these goats and they will be my weapon to fight poverty.”

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