Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries, is the scene of the world's worst humanitarian crisis with more than 4 million internally displaced persons (IDPs). 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. As many as 10 million people are suffering from malnutrition, and nearly a quarter of a million are in danger of starving. Yemen also is prone to severe weather and flooding that destroys lives, livelihoods and infrastructure while increasing the spread of deadly diseases. With the ongoing conflict intensifying the crisis, it is estimated that 80 percent of the population is in dire need of help.
Lutheran World Relief has worked at the nexus of humanitarian assistance and development in the Middle East since 1948 and began working in Yemen in July 2019. Using our global and regional expertise in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security, nutrition and agricultural livelihoods, we are working to meet immediate needs in Yemen while building the foundation toward long-term recovery and growing prosperity.
In this project, Lutheran World Relief is applying multisectoral approaches in health, WASH, food security and livelihoods to meet immediate needs of IDPs during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project covers 7,590 IPDs in 23 collective sites of Aden governorate displaced from different governorates across Yemen. Project activities include distribution of food baskets to the most vulnerable, a cleaning campaign with IDP participation, distribution of home and personal disinfecting kits, and door-to-door awareness sessions for IDP families in each collective site covering COVID-19, personal hygiene and waste management topics.
Lutheran World Relief is working to improve the health outcomes of the conflict-affected population through the provision of safe water and adequate WASH services, and food cash vouchers. The project contributed to the reduction of mortality and morbidity linked to malnutrition and water-related diseases. Lutheran World Relief built 18 concrete water bases and provided three districts with 18 tanks to improve their access to clean water. Also, hygiene practices were improved with the distribution of hygiene kits and hygiene information. After the implementation of the project, the main source of water in the target areas became the water trucks that the project supplied, and the unconditional cash transfers were mainly used to improve the food security and health of targeted households.
Lutheran World Relief has implemented several projects in Yemen to meet urgent WASH needs of vulnerable communities. These projects focused on a reduction in waterborne illnesses, establishment of community-based garbage management systems, and building community awareness on proper sanitation and hygiene practices. Lutheran World Relief and its local partners held hygiene awareness sessions and distributed informational brochures and 10,000 hygiene kits. Lutheran World Relief also worked with water and sanitation authorities to improve maintenance, remove blockages in local sewer systems and extend the main piping capacity. To ensure safe access to water, Lutheran World Relief also provided cash transfers to community members lacking potable water, installed sustainable rainwater collection systems at the household level and distributed ceramic water filters benefiting 1,488 people (248 households).
Between April and August 2020, heavy rains and flooding devastated communities, causing deaths and injuries, destroying infrastructure and livelihoods, and increasing the spread of deadly diseases. In Aden governorate, unconditional cash assistance was offered to flood-affected families to cover immediate needs for the month, benefitting over 3,700 people. In Marib governorate, intensified fighting led to an increased number of IDPs in the region, so Lutheran World Relief provided in-kind food assistance to 800 conflict-affected displaced families to cover their essential food needs.
The Corus Effect
Lutheran World Relief is part of Corus International, an ensemble of global leaders in international development and humanitarian assistance. In addition to Lutheran World Relief, the Corus family of organizations includes global public health agency IMA World Health, U.K.-based technology for development company CGA Technologies, impact investing group Ground Up Investing, and direct trade company Farmers Market Brands.
We operate as permanent partners, integrating expertise, disciplines, approaches and resources to overcome global health challenges, develop productive and stable economies, improve resilience in the face of climate change, and respond to natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
With the support of our family's diverse set of partners and funding – from multi- and bilateral institutions and foundations to the private sector and individuals – we invest in solutions that are innovative, scalable, holistic and move the needle towards transformational change.