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Life-Saving Assistance Package aims to mitigate impact of floods on the internally displaced population in Amran Governorate

A man standing on a doorway looking at the roof

Mohammed looks at the roof damaged due to the recent rain. Photo: Abdulrahman Alhobishi/CARE

Mohammed looks at the roof damaged due to the recent rain. Photo: Abdulrahman Alhobishi/CARE

A total of 4.3 million people have been internally displaced in Yemen since 2015. A further 588,000 people are projected to be displaced in 2022, based on Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) historical data and displacement trends. At least 73 per cent of those displaced are women and children.

Eight years of armed conflict have created catastrophic humanitarian needs in Yemen, uprooted millions of people from their homes, destroyed the economy and fostered the spread of diseases, including COVID-19. Yemen experiences extreme weather events including heavy rains, with seasonal flooding recurrent across the country, especially in coastal areas. Recently, the country has endured intense rainfall and flash floods which has proliferated diseases such as cholera, dengue, malaria and diphtheria. In addition to the destructive impact of the conflict, torrential downpours and flooding have also caused further widespread damage to infrastructure, including homes, shelters, roads, bridges, and irrigation and sewage systems.

Prior to the war, many Yemenis were dependent on their small businesses as their main source of income, able to stand on their own feet and be self-reliant. This was the case for Mohammed and Eman, a couple who used to live in Al Hudaida Governorate’s Al Doraihmi Area. When fighting reached their area however, they had to flee to Amran Governorate, like many who have had to now endure displacement.

A man and woman sitting on a couch with children
Mohammed and his family sit in a small room that wasn’t affected by the rain. Photo: Abdulrahman Alhobishi/CARE

Mohammed, 40, has two children and used to run a shop, selling vegetables for the locals in his area. He had worked hard to build his business and his income was the only source for his family. “I had a vegetable shop, and I could make good money to help me with my family’s daily needs. We had a simple but happy life in Al Doraihmi,” says Mohammed reminiscing about his life before the war. His wife, Eman, used to work alongside her husband to further support. “I am a dressmaker and used to have a sewing machine to sew women clothes for many female customers in our neighborhood. It was a good income that would help me meet our needs,” says Eman. 

As families are torn from their homes and often unable to acquire or carry essentials items as they flee to safety, the most critical immediate needs of the displaced people become food, hygiene items and vital household items. “I didn’t have any other option but to sell my sewing machine to secure an amount of money to help us pay for transportation to any safer place for me and my family. It was a hard moment. I lost my only source of income,” explains Eman the experience of having to sell her hard-earned asset, the sewing machine.

“I would have never thought this could happen to us. We decided to flee to Amran Governorate where we knew no one and had no idea what to do. My family and I rented a derelict house in Amran’s countryside. I couldn’t find any work and my wife isn’t able sell clothes anymore. The house is far from the center of the city which makes it even harder for me to communicate daily to look for any kind of work,” Mohammed adds.

The recent heavy rain has caused serious damage to Mohammed’s rented house as it destroyed the roof. “Our situation is getting worse. The rain has damaged some of my furniture and I can’t afford to pay to have them repaired. I’ve given up on thinking about whether I need to provide food for my family or stop the rain flooding our home,” says Mohammed.

Protracted displacement decreases resilience and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities, especially when the limited financial resources of those affected are depleted, when they have to spend whatever they have merely on survival: food, water, hygiene, transport, health, and other items.

Through the UNFPA-led multi-agency Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM), CARE continues to help all newly displaced persons in Amran Governorate with in-kind packages consisting of hygiene items and ready-to-eat food items that fulfill a family’s basic necessities for five to seven days. The packages contain food, woman’s clothes, jerrycans, and 2 containers of 20-litre capacity to use for water collection.

A woman kindly offers a snack to a child
Eman feeds her daughter with dates that are included in the package the family receives. Photo: Abdulrahman Alhobishi/CARE.

The assistance aims to help the newly displaced families, such as Mohammed’s, meet their immediate needs to alleviate their ordeal. “This package helps us to survive the moment. We have a good amount of food for some days,” says Mohammed. “Thanks to CARE, this kit really came on time and has helped us eat and dress, as we’ve lost whatever we had. We hope we receive more support to combat the current hard situation, so that in time, we’ll be able become self-reliant again,” concludes Eman.

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