Yemen remains one of the most food insecure countries, mainly driven by the impact of conflict and amongst this it is always the women who suffer the most. Millions are reaching crisis levels of hunger.
The worst place in the world right now is Yemen. The UN has declared Yemen to be the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. With the country suffering from mass starvation, more than 80 percent of the population lacks food, drinking water and access to health care services.
How Yemen’s war weighs on women-led households
To add to the issue, women, unmarried women, divorced and adolescent girls are among the most vulnerable. In a society like Yemen, men shield and protect the women from danger, abduction and sexual attacks. This crisis has created an easy environment for women to be exploited and violated of their dignity. Women are now forced to take the lead as the male guardian has either been killed or is fighting. The responsibility is now upon the women for collecting supplies for their families which make them an easy target. Women have to walk up to three hours to collect their rations of basic food for survival and then have to make the same journey back, carrying both food and their children in their arms in the unbearable heat of over 45 degrees over barren land. Access to basic food is not always available and as a result women are the most malnourished and children are dying from starvation.
The UN says that tens of thousands of people in Yemen are currently living in famine-like conditions, while some six million people are on the verge of famine.
Updates from the ground
1. The war continues and is getting worse
2. Famine and unemployment are at its peak, no source of income or food
3. Deadly diseases are widespread, many have lost their lives / loved ones
4. Food and medication are lacking across the country
5. The rate of disability is increasing, women and children have lost limbs due to the war and land mines
6. More children are born with disabilities due to malnutrition and chemicals
The rise in prostitution
Yemen has been grappling with a severe economic crisis, many women are suffering as they cannot provide basic meals for their children, women are lucky to eat one meal a one, and many have resorted to begging in the streets of Yemen. To add, there is a humanitarian crisis, with millions of people in need of basic aid, the lack of has heightened the desperation. Combining the economic and humanitarian situation, some, particularly women turn to prostitution as a means of survival. The lack of livelihood opportunities and income often forces them into sex work.
Selling of children
With the suffering of war, extreme poverty and famine, some families are forced to sell their children in return for a salary to be recruited for combat purposes because they are unable to provide living necessities, young girls are sold to take part in armed operations or to marry fighters. Some children are as young as 8 years old who are exploited for smuggling purposes. More common are child marriages which is seen as a way out of poverty, child marriage is a financial transaction and is decided based on short-term economic reasons, underage girls are married off for a few hundred dollars.
What we are doing:
To combat the sex for aid, exploitation of these vulnerable women and the pressure women face for survival, Forgotten Women focuses on delivering ‘Safe Aid’ which in basic terms means aid for women by women, we only allow women on the front line to deliver aid in a safe manner.
”Sex for aid and sexual exploitation should not and will not be tolerated, we are here to serve those in need and in the same breath protect those who we serve.” Forgotten Women Team
Please give generously, we have a dedicated team of women on the ground in Yemen directly distributing emergency aid daily to those families who are suffering from starvation, save lives today.