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Smiles reappeared in their faces

A man looking at papers

Malk with a CARE staff member during cash assistance distribution

Malk with a CARE staff member during cash assistance distribution

Malk Saeed, a 47-year-old mother of six daughters and seven sons, lives in Al-Massahin sub-district of Yemen’s Taiz governorate. Since her husband Abdullah died in 2018, she has been the breadwinner for her family.

From the moment of Abdullah’s death, the entire burden of providing for their large family fell on the shoulders of Malk, who was dealing with profound sadness and anxiety at the same time. She had to cope with her sorrow for the loss of her husband, and her concern as to how she would be able to give her children what they needed.

Al-Massahin where Malk lives is considered one of the poorest areas of Yemen. It is rugged, mountainous, very far from a city and lacks the most essential basic services.

With funding from the UK’s Department for International Development, CARE intervened in Al-Massahin with its Multisector Humanitarian Response Programme (MHRP), distributing unconditional cash in Ash Shamayatayn district. Six cycles of cash were provided to vulnerable people affected by Yemen’s five-year conflict, giving women like Malk some financial stability and restoring their dignity, as well as giving them a chance to improve their lives.

Malik was able, through the cash assistance, to buy what she needed for her home, and normal life began to return to the family, almost as it had been before the death of her husband. She was even able to repay her debt at the grocery shop.

But after the sixth cycle of cash she stopped receiving the assistance and the family returned to their previous status. Her children had to stop going to school because they were unable to pay the registration fees and buy what they needed to be able to study. Malk was struggling. She earnt some money by transporting water and firewood to people’s homes, and was able to pay for one meal a day for her family.

When CARE arrived in the area to do a new cash distribution for the next round, over 1100 such families were still vulnerable and therefore targeted again with assistance, including Malk’s. When they received the new money, the joy returned to Malk’s household and smiles reappeared once again in the faces of her and her children.

A group of people sitting outside a building
Malk with her children during the CARE field officer’s visit
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