Hind Abbas is a Communication Assistant for CARE International Yemen. Here she shares her experiences over the three years of war in her country.
March 26,2015, was the day that war began and the lives of millions of Yemenis was forever altered. As aircraft filled the skies over what is considered the Middle East’s poorest country, we were shocked by what was happening, hoping that it would only last about three days.
But the situation deteriorated.
The streets became empty, schools and universities were closed. Airstrikes and ground fighting became a part of life. Almost two million people were forced to flee their homes within the first month.
As one month grew into one year, we learned how to sleep through the sound of airstrikes. We learned to put on brave smiles and hide our pain.
By the two year mark, the number of homeless had risen to 2.8 million – most of them women and children. The airport had been closed, and an estimated 10,000 Yemenis died from critical health conditions, largely because they could not leave Yemen to access medical treatment abroad.
And now, as of 26 March 2018, over eight million people are on the brink of famine. People don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and so many of us are living on bread alone.
After three years of destroyed infrastructure, starvation and diseases, the humanitarian needs have increased tremendously: 22.2 million Yemenis – nearly three quarters of our population – are relying on humanitarian aid to survive. Dengue fever, malaria, diphtheria and cholera have spread fast.
If the war continues, hunger, destruction, disease and death will dominate, and this is what Yemen will be known for.
Peace has to take the place of destruction. Development and building have to take the place of starvation. Laughter and happiness and normalcy should take the place of the endless stories of sadness and destruction and death.
Yemenis deserve more than this. Yemen deserves better.
CARE’s team in Yemen needs your support now more than ever. Read more about the work they are doing to support families in Yemen and donate here.