After seven years of war, the people of Yemen are desperate. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed or injured, millions of children, women and men have been forced to leave their towns and villages, food is in short supply and water-borne diseases are spreading rapidly.
The situation is particularly critical in the governorate of Marib, which is on the border of three active front lines. There are currently more than 2 million displaced people in the region, who have suddenly lost their homes and resources.
SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is one of the few NGOs currently present in the area. With the support of the European Union, it is working to cover the basic needs of the most deprived people, providing them with emergency shelter, drinking water, latrines, food parcels and/or cash to buy food, as well as hygiene and emergency kits.
– Person 1: We were shepherds of sheep and camels in our villages. When the war arrived, people were displaced and they began to flee, despite how cold it was. No shelter, no warmth, we moved from houses to settlements in the freezing cold. I am at home, with my mother, my wife, my sister and my oldest brother. We support a large family. My mother’s illness has been worseded as the weather became colder. Her asthma and allergies have worsened her condition. Until now, she has received treatment of course. Due to the harsh weather, and the subsequent poor conditions of the pasture and the sand, we lost 15 sheep upon arrival. For those who must flee from their village and their home, it is the greatest loss. Why must one be forced to leave their village? What have the children done to deserve this? What have the families done to deserve this? We are filled with immense grief right now.
– Veronica: My name is Veronica and I’m the emergency field coordinator for SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL here in Yemen. I’m responsible for a team of very talented people who provide relief to those experiencing forced displacement or other types of disaster. They are able to conduct rapid assessments and coordinate with different organizations, authorities and tribes and make sure that emergency assistance is provided to them in the shortest time possible. Since 2015, Yemen has been affected by the conflict and has experienced mass displacements. Currently, we are in the Marib governorate and are not far away from the front line, maybe 10 km away from here, there is a frontline where there is ongoing fighting. Moreover, the Marib governorate is on the border of three active frontlines, which makes the situation much more complicated. According to the official data, there are currently in Marib more than 2 million internally displaced people which means that the total population of the Marib governorate is around 2.7 million right now. IDPs are internally displaced people or displaced persons. These individuals or families have been forced to flee their home due to a conflict or a natural disaster and resettles in an another place within their country.
– Person 2: They lack access to water, electricity, schooling and hospitals. The situation continues to worsen.
– Person 3: Despite the cold, there are neither tents nor resources.
– Veronica: SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is among the few organizations that are working in Marib right now. As first responder, we address the most basic needs of the most vulnerable people. We focus primarily on providing emergency shelter, latrines, and resources to meet basic needs such as hygiene kits, food packages and shelter kits. Since the market is still functional, we also provide beneficiaries cash for food based on their needs. They are able to go to the market and buy food or what they need.
– Zain Nasr: I am Zain Nasr, WASH project manager at SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL, I joined the organization about two years ago, and I work in the emergency desk in Aden which was built in response to the conflict in southern Yemen, and specifically Marib. I decided to work in the humanitarian field because Yemen is suffering from a severe humanitarian crisis. It is the right time to help our community and help our country.
– Veronica: As a first responder organization, and emerency team, our role is a little bit different from the one of other organizations. We must identify the needs and provide basic necessities as soon as possible. So we try to ensure that a few days after displacement or disaster, people have access to clean water, hygiene kits or money for food.
– Person 1: They took my phone number and we told them what we needed, then SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL contacted me from the Aden office. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is the best organization that visited us at a time when we needed them the most.
– Veronica: Why is it so important for us to be here ? SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL is a first responder. We go to areas that are hard to reach and we help people who do not have anything. They lack shelter, they lack latrines, they lack drinking water, and that is the reason why we are here, to help the most vulnerable people and this is our job, that is why we are here.