Sana’a (ICRC/ YRCS) – Weeks of exceptionally heavy seasonal rains and floods have caused havoc across Yemen, killing dozens of people and destroying homes, agricultural land, roads and vital infrastructure, at a time when millions were already impacted by the conflict’s deepening consequences.
NEWS RELEASE 24 AUGUST 2022 YEMEN
The floods have added another layer of suffering for millions of Yemeni people, who are already severely affected by over seven years of protracted conflict. At least 90 people, including children, have been killed across the country, and an estimated 35,000 households, most of whom are internally displaced, are reported to have been affected by floods across 17 governorates between 28 July and 10 August, according to OCHA.
Yemen is struggling to cope with the conflict’s consequences, including displacement, growing food insecurity and the imminent risk of system breakdown as all essential services – water, electricity, sanitation systems and health care system are extremely fragile. Heavy rain and flooding have also increased the spread of seasonal and waterborne diseases like cholera, dengue fever and malaria, which continue to claim lives in a context where only 51% of health facilities still function.
“This year was the first time Hajja has seen such torrential rains, we are not used to such floods. Overnight many people found themselves homeless and their belongings and fields completely ruined,” said Abduljaleel, whose neighbors lost their homes because of recent flooding in Hajja city. “If this heavy rain continues, many more people will lose their homes, property and farmland.”
The Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS), with support from the ICRC and other movement partners, have so far assisted more than 8,239 families in ten of the most affected governorates, providing food and non-food items. YRCS volunteers continue search and rescue operations for those who have gone missing because of the floods, as well as to provide first aid to those injured.
“The floods have affected agricultural land, which will greatly exacerbate food insecurity in a country where up to 19 million are food insecure. The floods have also moved unexploded ordnance to residential and agricultural areas, posing a grave risk to civilians,” said Mulan Giovannini, the ICRC’s Deputy Head of Delegation in Yemen.
“Despite massive challenges, the YRCS is working around the clock to assist victims of the floods, but the needs are massive. It’s important that those who have been affected are able to receive the lifesaving assistance they need,” said Abdullah Al Azab, YRCS Disaster Management Coordinator.
Since the beginning of 2022:
- 1,300,000 people have benefitted from the ICRC’s support to 26 hospitals and 31 primary healthcare centers in different parts of the country.
- The ICRC has supported more than 200,000 people with food and non-food items, including shelter and cash.
- The ICRC conducted 20 visits to 15 places of detention in different parts of Yemen.
- Six prisons around the country were supported to improve access to health services for more than 8,000 detainees.
- With the ICRC’s support, 122 detainees were reunited with their families and loved ones.
- The ICRC and the YRCS have assisted more than 224,000 people through different joint activities.