Medair vraagt aandacht voor ongekende crisis in Jemen

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35 year old, Nehaya, fetches water from the community water point with her children and sister on 28 July 2021. Health and Nutrition Manager, Nawaf shares: “One of the major reasons we started working in this area, is the public health issues, all of the children, and not only children, all of the animals, have been affected by a disease called ‘skeletal fluorosis’ which is mainly due to high fluoride in the water. It has been there for more than 15 years. Because this is mainly a mountainous area, where people have to dig very deep to reach the water, it breaks the rock layers and makes all of water be contaminated by high fluoride levels. High fluoride is not something that can manifest easily. It effects generations after. I make your bones bend; it makes your teeth discoloured. So this is a public health concern.” Medair has identified a well within the community where fluoride is not present, and Medair teams have started construction to rehabilitate the borehole to make it operational once again.   Yemen has been declared as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis for the past four years and is projected to be experiencing the highest level of hunger that the world has seen in decades. Conflict and economic decline drives food insecurity in Yemen. As a result of Yemen’s civil war which began in 2015, lives and livelihoods have been destroyed, resulting in reduced income opportunities and a limited ability to purchase food. Access to healthcare is severely limited; only 50% of health facilities are fully functional which leaves almost 20 million people without adequate access. Cases of acute malnutrition among children under five are the greatest ever recorded, and more than half of the population is facing acute levels of food insecurity.   Access to water has further diminished over six years of conflict, leaving 20 million people in need of WASH assistance. Yemen is one of the most water scarce countries in the world, and it contributes to a high prevalence of preventable diseases. (ACAPS)   In 2021, nearly 21 million people in Yemen, 2/3 of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance.   Medair is working in remote communities to provide an integrated health, nutrition, and water and sanitation response, with an emergency response team providing critical services to communities in need.

Noodhulporganisatie Medair blijft aandacht vragen – en geld werven – voor de situatie in Jemen. Een speciale actiemaand in samenwerking met enkele andere organisaties loopt nog een weekje (maar loopt feitelijk gewoon door). 

De Verenigde Naties noemen de situatie in Jemen ‘de ergste humanitaire crisis ter wereld’. Al meer dan 2500 dagen is het onveilig door gewapende conflicten. Van de kleine 30 miljoen Jemenieten verkeren er 21 miljoen in acute nood. Onder andere schoon drinkwater is schaars.

Plony Harteveld, manager bij Medair Nederland: “We raken bijna gewend aan de beelden van mensen op de vlucht en mensen die zich in vreselijke situaties bevinden. De humanitaire behoeften blijven hoog in veel van de landen waar Medair actief is, zoals Jemen en Afghanistan. We kunnen de situatie niet veranderen, maar we kunnen het leven van mensen wel iets dragelijker maken.”

21voorJemen-challenge

Samen met hulporganisaties ADRA en ZOA en EO Metterdaad vraagt Medair van 21 augustus t/m 21 september aandacht voor de erbarmelijke situatie in Jemen. EO Metterdaad maakte vijf TV-afleveringen die te bekijken zijn op NPO2. Er zijn 21 portretten van Jemenieten te zien. Daarnaast is er de 21voorJemen-challenge. Het idee: geef je persoonlijke invulling aan deze uitdaging en doe iets voor de 21 miljoen getroffenen Jemenieten in je eigen omgeving; deel vervolgens je ervaring op sociale media via #21voorJemen.

Bij de foto: Nehaya (35) haalt water op van het gemeenschappelijke tappunt, samen met haar kinderen en zuster. (Amy van Drunen)