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Tiny fragments of hope

23 January 2017, Impact of Our Work, Emergencies

Humanitarian groups are doing everything they can in one of the world’s most troubled regions

In what was already one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, relentless war, disease and lack of resources have brought the people of Yemen to their knees.

Khadija* used to walk an hour and a half to collect water from a dirty well.

“The water in the old well was not clean and was unhygienic,” she says. “I could even see the larvae and the mosquitoes in the water and the well was always open and not protected, so my family was suffering from sickness like diarrhoea and vomiting.”

Khadija* lives in a small village in Bani Qais district in Northern Yemen.

She and her family are totally dependent on breeding sheep and producing fodder to feed the animals, as the only source of income for the family.

Save the Children has been working in the region to provide health and nutritional support to people living in remote areas where even the most basic health care services are not available.

With the support of the Dutch Government, Save the Children has recently rehabilitated a well in Khadija’s village, and constructed a well cover and an automatic solar system which enables the locals to access water far more easily.

“We can see a big difference between the old well outside the village and the rehabilitated one,” Khadija explains. “The water is clean, we are healthy, and the people can easily access the water any time day and night.”

It’s one of 19 wells that have been reconstructed to provide clean flowing water throughout the district.

Save the Children has also created Child Friendly Spaces and Mobile Units Teams to support the children affected by the relentless conflict. The safe environments allow children to access structured learning, play and psychological support to help enhance their resilience and provide some hope of a return to normalcy.

But as long as the fighting continues, resilience and hope remain fragile.

More than 80% of the population in Yemen is in need of humanitarian aid, a third of which are children. According to the UN, 14.4 million people lack access to sufficient food.

The country’s health system is close to collapse and an entire generation of children are at risk of missing out on years of education.

Yet the brutal conflict is making it extremely difficult for humanitarian organisations to reach those who need them most.

*Names changed to protect identity
Image: Ali Alashwal/Save the Children

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