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A Struggle For Survival In Yemen

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Saturday, April 1st, 2017
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More than half of the population (14.1 million people) is without enough to eat. Over 7 million of these people are one step away from famine. About 13 million Yemenis do not have access to safe water sources, with rural areas most affected.

Yemeni Women

The economy has been shattered, food prices are on the rise and essential services like health and education are collapsing. Many people have lost their jobs and cannot afford basic items.

Their daily life is a struggle for survival.

Murad Hreib is a 22-year-old father of two. Before the war, he used to live and work in a shop in Saada city. He was forced to flee to Khamer city when the conflict escalated two years ago.

“When the war started, there was an air strike that targeted the military compound near our neighborhood. I was in the shop at the time, my wife and children got really scared! Even now, whenever they hear an aircraft, they start screaming, they think it will target them,” explains Murad.

He now works as motorcycle taxi driver and makes around 800-1000 Yemeni Riyals ($3-4) a day. The rent for the small house he lives in with his family costs 10,000 YER ($40) and without direct access to water, he also has to spend up to 5,000 YER ($20) on water per month.

“I drive my motorcycle all day and come back home exhausted. I have no regular source of income, I’m far from my home, friend and memories, and I’m just trying to survive,” he told us.

His family has received food vouchers and cash transfers from Oxfam which helped them to buy food for the children, but prices keep rising and he can now barely afford the essentials.

Ahmed Moqbeel, 45 and his wife Dolah Najee, 40, live in Khamer city, in Amran Governorate with their eight children. Ahmed works as a cobbler in the market. On good days, he manages to make 500 Yemeni Riyals ($2) a day, though he often comes back home empty-handed.

“Our life has always been difficult, but it got worse after the war. Food prices went up because of the fuel shortage. In the market, you can see how many people struggle to buy food for their children,” explains Dolah.

”Every month, we need to spend over 11,000 YER ($44) on flour, and all we can eat is bread and tea.” Sometimes Dolah goes begging at the market, or in the neighborhood asking for bread or money. “I can’t stand it when my children are hungry, I feel helpless” she says.

Oxfam supported the family with food vouchers and cash transfers, which enabled them to buy food without getting into debt.

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