ZOA has been working in Yemen since August 2012. Our work in Yemen is complex. And yet, we specifically want to be here. Our primary focus is offering aid that combats hunger and thirst, preferably also in the long run. We focus on displaced persons and on the communities where they are received. Our approach combines food security and livelihoods interventions, WASH and cash based assistance. Our working areas are in the north of Yemen: Sana’a, Amran, Hajjah and Al Mahwit Governorates, and in the south of Yemen: Aden, Lahj and Al Dhale’e Governorates.
We are here in Yemen
In 2015, fighting broke out between Houthis and government troops in Yemen. Now, several years later, Yemen is the site of the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Not only over 4 million people have fled their homes, but 19 million people, more than 50 per cent of the population of Yemen, are estimated to be food insecure.
The worst humanitarian crisis in the world
Emergency relief and longer term recovery
Once there were hopeful developments in Yemen. During the Arab Spring of 2011, widespread demonstrations forced the resignation of an authoritarian ruler. Unfortunately, the new, predominantly Sunni Muslim government did not succeed in uniting the country and violence erupted. Over the years, the conflict evolved in a complicated war, involving many parties. Yemen is being crushed by geopolitical violence.
Sustainable solutions in the field of WASH
Bad hygiene and a lack of clean drinking water pose a threat to vulnerable, malnourished people. That is why we make systems for collecting rainwater, construct water wells, and build sanitary facilities in schools, villages, and houses. ZOA uses solar powered pumps to run water pumping units that provide portable water to thousands of households. At household level, we repair rooftop rainwater harvesting structures. We also provide families with water tanks to supplement the water collected from communal systems. Besides, colloidal silver water filters are given to families as a user-friendly mechanism for household water treatment. We also give training about the importance of good hygiene to prevent diseases like cholera. In our interventions, we always pursue sustainability. In Yemen, instead of water trucking, ZOA prioritizes the rehabilitation and /or construction of water infrastructure like rainwater harvesting cisterns, community rainwater harvesting tanks, boreholes and pipe networks.
The impact of our work in Yemen in 2022
With a team of 50 staff members, we directly supported 741,000 people
Food security and livelihoods
Emergency aid takes the form of cash assistance so people can determine for themselves which of their family’s needs are most pressing. We also have cash-for-work projects, which enable the restoration of basic community infrastructure and assets and give poor families a chance to earn income. Besides this, we support people to plant vegetable gardens.
Donors and partners
In Yemen, ZOA uses a dual implementation approach that includes direct implementation of project activities and partnership with local NGOs. Due to insecurity, some of ZOA’s programme areas are inaccessible to our staff. In situations like these, we use the experience, networks and credibility of local NGOs.
Our work is funded by the USAID BHA, Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN-OCHA (Yemen Humanitarian Fund), the European Union, Stichting Mitswah, EO Metterdaad, ZOA Netherlands. In Yemen, ZOA works with partners like Responsiveness for Rehabilitation & Development Foundation (RRD) and the Sustainable Development Foundation (SDF).
Monia Hassan, Yemen