Yemen crisis: "We were dying of hunger"

Ansam Saif Owais with one of her children

People describe how the war in Yemen – already one of the poorest countries in the world – has destroyed the possibility of normal life, leaving them dependent on humanitarian assistance just to survive.


“The war came, it punished, degraded and tormented us till we had had enough. When we ran away from the shelling, we had nothing with us.

We came here without anything. If someone got sick, you couldn't afford to take them anywhere. And then we waited there for agencies, we were dying of hunger.

“And then CARE International came along. They gave us these water containers, they gave us mattresses, they gave us aid packages. They would give us what we needed.”


A man and two children in Yemen
Mahmoud Ahmed with two of his five children, Hamoud (left) and Hussein (right)

I am a farmer, a labourer. My children have malnutrition, we are unable to feed them. We can't provide for our children.

“We have come to the medical centre for treatment for their diarrhoea. I hope they get treatment for their health and wellbeing, God willing.”


A woman with her livestock in Yemen
Fatima, a mother of six daughters and one son, with her livestock

“The food baskets given to us by CARE helped us survive the hard days. Before that we would have one meal a day, if we had lunch we wouldn’t have dinner!

No one can ask people for help or for charity on a weekly basis. The food baskets helped us keep our dignity and honor. 

“I have since managed to buy some goats to help me survive the hardship I wish I and my children can soon start to live better days.”


A woman collecting water from a well in Yemen
Nawoma collecting water from a well

“We don't have clean water, transportation, education or health facilities. Absence of all these services are my fears.

“Our difficult life got worse with war because there was no fuel, and social security assistance was cut. Illnesses such as diarrhoea spread very easily because most houses don’t have proper sanitation.

To us, life is always running... you try to contribute, but life is hard. I always think of my family, I don't think of myself.


Portrait of a man in Yemen
Fares Bis

“People were badly injured by the air strike. Very horribly injured. We were afraid, we were terrified, and the children were crying, and shouting, and the women too.

We slept under the trees, we had no food or anything to drink, or money.

“We left without any possessions. We didn't have food, or jobs to provide for the house and family. And now thank God for everything, CARE came along and helped us - from food supplies, to clothing, and a small amount of money.

If it weren't for CARE we wouldn’t be able to feed our families or do anything. We thank CARE for helping us build our homes and for food supplies for our family.


A woman in a temporary shelter in Yemen
Heshrah pictured in her temporary home

“The first time, CARE gave us mattresses, blankets, pots and pans, and purifiers, they did a lot for us. Cooking oil, and sugar, lentils, that was the first package they gave us.

“And after that they gave us [tarpaulins], and wood, and they gave us food supplies, flour, tuna, cooking oil, sugar and rice.

They did a lot honestly. They supported us with everything.


A doctor in Yemen
Doctor Ibrahim Naser Al Sadi is Deputy Director of Health at Bani Inje hospital

“At this medical centre in Bani Inje, even though its capacity is small, we can provide medical care within the centre; we receive more than 50 people daily, from coughing, to diarrhoea, to vomiting, to dehydration, to malnutrition...

The area is plagued with cholera. People do not have awareness about this, and they do not have good health.


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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.