Noirin Byrne

Yemen faces the world’s worst humanitarian crisis with four in five people in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. However, thanks to your generosity, we are providing essential medical support to women like Iqbal and Saeeda, who gave birth safely during this conflict. Read their inspiring stories.

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers in Yemen face enormous risks when giving birth in a country brought to its knees by conflict. For these women, there is an increased risk of death and serious complications during childbirth due to the lack of access to essential health care and food in the war-torn region.

Yemen is undeniably the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today, with 81% of the 30 million inhabitants in need of humanitarian assistance on a daily basis. Pregnant women, nursing mothers and children are incredibly vulnerable in a country where more than 20 million people are currently deprived of a regular food supply.

Pregnant, hungry and living in a tent… Iqbal’s survival story in Yemen

Iqbal is 20 years old and gave birth to her first child – a little boy – in a clinic in Imran, a small town south of the country’s capital. His birth was complicated. Experiencing extreme pain and discomfort, she came to a health clinic supported by Trócaire and then began labor.

The clinic midwife examined her and found that the baby’s heart rate was very weak. The diagnosis was obstruction of labor and she was rushed to a hospital in the capital, Aden, for surgery. Fortunately, she gave birth safely.

Iqbal is one of many internally displaced people who have been forced to leave their homes as a result of the conflict. His family had to flee their town of Ta’izz and now live in a makeshift camp for internally displaced people.

Iqbal’s family are struggling with basic needs: basic shelter, food and water. The tent they live in leaks when it rains and does not protect them from colder temperatures. Work is not always available for her husband and the money he earns is all the family can count on.

Iqbal’s needs are simple: “I just wish I had a safe place to live and have food for my family.”

Saeeda gave birth in the dark without electricity

Saeeda is another woman in Yemen familiar with the devastating effects of the conflict.

She was also taken care of by our Imran clinic, where she gave birth to her daughter Fatima.

Fortunately, everything went well and there were no complications during the delivery, other than one problem: there was no electricity and she and the staff had to resort to portable lamps.

Saeeda is delighted with the safe birth of her daughter and is incredibly grateful for the service that has been provided – medical care, personal hygiene products and support from a midwife.

For many, like Saeeda, seeking outside health services is impossible due to financial constraints. People lack the money to pay for transportation and the cost of basic services in other clinics.

One million pregnant women suffer from malnutrition in Yemen

Food shortages have left an estimated one million pregnant women undernourished and threaten the lives of 144,000 women who may develop complications during childbirth.

Malnutrition is widespread in Yemen and further increases the demand and pressure for medical services. Less than 50% of health facilities across the country are fully functional. Those that are operational lack specialists, equipment, medical supplies and drugs.

Currently, more than half of Yemenis do not have access to basic health care, and 14 million of them need intensive care. Pregnant and lactating women and children account for the bulk of this figure. Mothers find it difficult to stay alive and keep their babies alive due to the lack of health services available to them. These women are far from home, hungry, tired and giving birth alone.

How does Trócaire help women in Yemen?

With your generous support, Trócaire is responding to the devastating situation in Yemen, working through the local church and other aid agencies to respond to this catastrophic crisis. We support the work of Caritas Internationalis and provide life-saving essential support to women in Yemen.

This project aims to save lives by enabling people to access much-needed health services and by providing sufficient and safe drinking water and sanitation services. Together with our local partners, we help health clinics and pharmacies provide life-saving care and restock drugs and supplies.

The needs are enormous and the situation on the ground is heartbreaking. Yet, thanks to your donations to Trócaire, we can support safe childbirth and give hope to women like Iqbal and Saeeda.

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