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2021 11 Yemen 02

Yemen: Livelihood support ‘the light to the future’ for Saba

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A new Tearfund partnership in war-ravaged Yemen is helping people to rebuild their lives and provide for their families.

Yemen was already among the world’s poorest countries, with 47 per cent of its people living in poverty.1 But since conflict broke out there more than seven years ago, one of the world’s largest humanitarian crises has developed, entrenching that poverty and creating fear and suffering. More than 20 million people, or two thirds of the population, lack sufficient food and clean drinking water, and nearly half of Yemen’s children suffer from malnutrition. Almost 18 million people need medical assistance, and there have been mass outbreaks of preventable diseases like cholera, diphtheria and measles.2

Behind these staggering statistics are ordinary people trying to survive, to provide for their families, to give their children an opportunity for an education and a solid future. Conflict cuts the future short, crushes livelihoods, tears families apart. It deepens the impacts of already-existing poverty and injustice.

But, even in the midst of conflict, relentless love makes peace possible.

In 2021, Tearfund Australia joined with Tearfund Germany to support part of its longer-term work in Yemen. In the city of Ibb in southwestern Yemen, these two members of the Tearfund family are supporting a local partner to restore water points in communities, promote health awareness and provide training in agriculture and livelihoods so that people can confidently provide for their families.

Phil Lindsay, Tearfund Australia’s International Program & Effectiveness Co-ordinator, says that this new partnership is a valuable opportunity.

“Yemen is not in a region in which Tearfund Australia traditionally works,” he said. “However, we have watched the crisis unfold there over many years. The scale of need as one of the world’s longest and deepest humanitarian crises, and the opportunity to work with Tearfund Germany, made this a compelling opportunity to support a local organisation seeking to bring long-term hope into communities and families.”

This project is not just a support for the difficult days now, but it gives me hope... This project is the light to the future.

Saba project participant, Yemen

Ahmed is a government worker, but due to the war he hasn’t received a salary since July 2021. To support his family, he relies on daily labouring work which is insecure and short-term. Tearfund’s local partner has provided Ahmed and his wife Saba with some chickens, and training in how to rear them.

This support has been an enormous boost to them, says Saba. “I was optimistic after I received the poultry skills training, since it reminded me of my grandmother when she used to take care of chickens, and it was very worthy and sustainable food for the family.

“This project is not just a support for the difficult days now, but it gives me hope that these chickens will be a way to increase the income for my family. In the two months since I received the chickens, I was able to get 35 eggs which I used to feed my family, and another 10 eggs which I used for hatching. Now I have new chickens in addition to the chickens that I received. I am planning to raise more chickens in the coming months to be able to get more eggs and chickens to sell to get more income for the family. This project is the light to the future.”

So far, hundreds of households have been equipped with training that will support them into the future, and thousands now have access to safe water. This new partnership is an expression of God’s faithful love, a love that endures in even the most dire of situations.

1. "Prolonged conflict would make Yemen the poorest country in the world, UNDP study says", UNDP, https://www.undp.org/press-rel...

2. The World Bank In Yemen, https://www.worldbank.org/en/c...

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Pray with us

  • Pray for the people of Yemen, who have been living with the trauma of war, and its consequences, for years. In the midst of all that they are going through may they find sources of hope and comfort. Hold in your prayers Ahmed and Saba, and others like them, as they try to rebuild their lives.
  • Give thanks for Tearfund’s new partnership in Yemen, and for the courage and compassion of our local partner there.
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Relentless Love

Conflict dominates the headlines. We can change the channel, swipe the app closed, look away. But for millions around the world, conflict is inescapable. It cuts the future short, crushes livelihoods, tears families apart. It deepens the impacts of poverty and injustice.

Yet in places of entrenched conflict, hope is resiliently pushing up through hard ground. This hope is anchored in God’s love, expressed by Tearfund’s local partners. Love that never gives up. Love that is full of hope. Love that endures. Relentless love.

You can help make peace possible for people living in conflict. Love relentlessly.

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Emma Halgren is Content Lead at Tearfund Australia.