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Photo: World Renew
Photo by World Renew

Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Around three quarters of the population (22 million people) are in need of humanitarian assistance and more than 2 million have been forced to flee their homes. Most basic needs of the Yemeni people today are met by humanitarian aid. Eight million face famine-like conditions and need food aid to survive, and around 2 million children suffer from acute malnutrition. World Renew is responding and needs your assistance to deliver urgently needed medical supplies.

After more than three years of conflict, the health system in Yemen has been severely weakened. Only half of the government health facilities are still operating, and of those that do, many are operating with limited capacity. The decline and/or disappearance of basic services, has heightened the risk of frequent disease outbreaks. Two outbreaks of cholera in 2016 and 2017 led to over a million suspected cases and over 2,500 deaths.

Actual or defacto blockades of ports for months at a time further exacerbated humanitarian suffering by cutting off supplies of food and medicine, rapidly depleting what limited resources were available. Medical facilities throughout Yemen are dependent on imported medicines and medical supplies to keep providing services.

Without access to medicines, vulnerable Yemenis are further at risk of dying from easily preventable illnesses. In July 2018, the WHO Representative in Yemen declared that despite the ongoing efforts to import supplies, the scale of the health needs were beyond the capacity of the agency to be able to meet.

World Renew’s partner, International Health Partners (IHP) has been working with local partners in Yemen, alongside the World Health Organization since 2015, providing access to donations of critically needed medicines and supplies. These shipments have enabled hospitals, primary healthcare center and mobile clinics to continue to deliver health services, equipped with the resources they need to treat patients.

In late 2018, IHP received a list of urgently needed items from a partner in Yemen. In response, a number of healthcare providers were able to offer donations of the medicines and medical supplies on the list. These supplies include several types of antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, other medicines, and surgical supplies.

The cost of shipping these supplies to Yemen is $24,000, and donations are needed to World Renew to help make this possible. Funds raised through World Renew will equip health facilities in Yemen to provide services to patients in great need. In particular, the variety of antibiotics will enable them to treat patients with various infections that are particularly associated with at-risk populations experiencing high rates of malnutrition and exposure to unsanitary environments.

The medical supplies will support hygienic provision of treatment, to limit the risk of onward infection and to support effective care. The surgical packs will support creation of sterile surgical environments to be able to provide safe cardiac, ophthalmic and orthopedic surgery. Without doubt, provision of these essential medicines and supplies will help both save lives and prevent unnecessary suffering.

In nearly all cases, World Renew prioritizes the purchasing of local products instead of paying to ship great distances. For example, World Renew no longer ships grain from North America to families around the world. Instead, food is purchased locally and distributed to families in need. This helps to save shipping costs and provides an investment in the local economy.

However, there are circumstances when it is not possible to purchase supplies locally. Currently, there is an enormous shortage of emergency medical supplies in Yemen and this need can only be met by bringing in supplies from outside the country. Through the generosity of healthcare providers in the UK, over $130,000 in supplies are ready for shipping to Yemen. By raising funds to cover the shipping costs, World Renew partners in Yemen can distribute this emergency assistance at a fraction of the cost.

To donate, visit World Renew. Please also pray for families in Yemen who have been caught in the middle of this conflict. Pray that they would be kept safe, and that these medical supplies would reach those in greatest need, ensuring that thousands would remain safe and healthy.