Emergency cash transfer support is distributed for food to conflict-affected displaced families in Yemen's Marib and Taiz Governorates. All cash recipients received the monthly food basket transfer value recommended by Yemen Food Security and Agriculture Cluster through LWR and local partner, Horizon Foundation for Development. (Al-Baraa Mansoor for Horizon Foundation for Development)

Crisis in Yemen: Lutheran World Relief rushes cash assistance to fill gap in IDP support

  • Sarah Kretschmann
  • Mar 4, 2022

Amid one of the greatest humanitarian crises of our time, Lutheran World Relief staff and partners conducted an urgent distribution of cash assistance for internally displaced people (IDP) taking refuge at Al-Khora camp in the Ash-Shamayatayn District of the Taiz Governorate. The besieged capital has faced some of the most intense violence more recently, and blockades have resulted in critical shortages of food, water, cooking gas and medicine.

There are 24.1 million people, 80% of the population of Yemen, in need of humanitarian aid and protection. Even before Yemen's civil war started in 2015, half of its population lived below the poverty line, a figure that currently exceeds 60 percent. Now, as many as 10 million people are suffering from malnutrition, and nearly a quarter of a million are in danger of starving.

Meeting critical needs of internally displaced families

When LWR staff learned through the Yemen Food Security and Agriculture Cluster that residents of the Al-Khora IDP camp had been without cash or food assistance for the past three months, they were quick to step up to fill in the gap, nimbly pivoting resources to meet the critical needs of these IDP families. Our Yemen staff immediately visited the camp, conducted a needs assessment and designed an urgent cash assistance program accordingly.

Thanks to their swift action in partnership with Horizon Foundation for Development, 75 households received vital assistance. Thirty-eight percent of the families supported included pregnant and lactating women, 20% included someone with disabilities or chronic diseases, and 24% were families with children under five. More rounds of cash assistance to these families are planned in the future. 

Man wearing white baseball hat, red t-shirt and tan vest with the LWR logo kneels to help a young girl in a pink t-shirt put on her mask

A mask is given by Waheeb Sultan, a member of LWR staff, to a young girl to protect her from the COVID-19 virus amidst the recent cash distribution. (Al-Baraa Mansoor for Horizon Foundation for Development)

Working at the nexus of humanitarian assistance

Lutheran World Relief, now part of Corus International, has worked at the nexus of humanitarian assistance and development in the Middle East since 1948 and began working in Yemen in July 2019. Through vital projects like this one currently being implemented, we are working to meet immediate needs in Yemen while building the foundation toward long-term recovery, stabilization and development.  

Waheeb Sultan, Program Coordinator & Technical Focal Point, Yemen, shares his experience taking part in this effort, “Through distributing cash assistance, we are addressing the urgent needs of those most affected by this crisis. My hope is that the INGO community will continue these efforts with more sustainable food security projects and approaches that will benefit the [local] communities.” 

A young boy carrying a stick and a man without shoes walk across sand rocks and shrub away from the camera

Participants in the cash distribution program in the Al-Ma'afer district, Al-Mashawelah sub-district, in Taiz governorate return to the Al-Khora IDP camp. (Al-Baraa Mansoor for Horizon Foundation for Development)

Waheeb Sultan, Program Coordinator & Technical Focal Point, and Abdallah Al-Zuabi, Senior Regional Director, Asia and Middle East, contributed to this blog.

Sarah Kretschmann, Mar 4, 2022 email