ACTNews, SANA’A – The conflict has been raging for more than three years. Economy collapsed; major cities are either deserted or turned into battlefields. With no jobs for the locals to earn some money, many have to live in poverty that leads to thousands of cases of malnutrition. The civil war in Yemen has turned the country into a living hell as Yemenis suffer from world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
Fortunately, it is still possible to reach the war-torn country. After a long journey, SOS for Yemen I team finally arrived in Sana’a, the city that becomes the center of the conflict. Rudi Purnomo was the first member of ACT team from Indonesia to be able to reach Yemen. Arriving from Indonesia a few weeks ago, he is currently in Sana’a to continue the humanitarian efforts to alleviate the suffering of Yemeni civilians in this conflict-ridden area.
Rudi Purnomo of ACT – SOS for Yemen I has arrived in Yemen since early November.
On Thursday (11/22), after a long administrative process, finally ACT’s SOS for Yemen team sent us a good news. On that day, Purnomo and a number of local volunteers in Yemen were able to distribute food aid for Yemeni refugee families. According to Purnomo, the amount of the aid packages reached more than 23 metric tons.
“Alhamdulillah, the aid packages entrusted by the people of Indonesia were able to be distributed to Yemeni IDP families. Three hundred packages were distributed in one day to three IDP camps in suburban Sana’a: Jeddar, Al-Arah and Al-Raqah Camps,” said Purnomo through a video message sent from Sana’a.
More than 23 tons of food aid packages were distributed in one day by SOS for Yemen team
Food packages to alleviate malnutrition
Food packages from people of Indonesia were distributed to Hamdani district in Sana’a. The district holds many IDPs who fled from the center of Sana’a City. This region is also inhabited by IDPs from Hodeidah, a port city over which the warring parties have been fighting.
“Sana’a and Hodeidah are two of the most critical areas, a place where Yemeni IDPs live in difficult condition. The food packages from Indonesia were distributed in Hamdani area. Here, there are many IDP camps. The refugees’ condition is heartbreaking,” said Purnomo.
Children are the most vulnerable victims of Yemeni conflict. Starvation and malnutrition spread across Yemeni children.
According to Purnomo, the food packages consisted of staple food items that are enough for each IDP family for more than a month.
“Here, it is easy to find Yemeni children suffering from terrible malnutrition. Yusra Saleh Mufreh, a baby we met in Sana’a, was one-month-old, but she weighed only 700 grams. Her weight does not even reach a kilogram. Therefore, these food packages will, Insha Allah, be able to fulfill the nutritional needs of Yemeni families,” said Purnomo.
Yusra Saleh Mufreh who weighed only 700 grams at the age of one month.
Each package consisted of at least seven staple food items: 50 kilograms of wheat flour, 3 kilograms of legume, 10 kilograms of rice, 1 kilogram of iodized salt, 1 kilogram of date and 4 liters of cooking oil.
“In total, the amount of the aid reached more than 23 tons. Just in one day, the packages were able to be distributed to hundreds of families in Jeddar, Al-Arah and Al-Raqah camps,” explained Purnomo.
The beneficiaries were gathered on an open field. The aid packages were put in rows. Hundreds of families who had been listed came and stood in queues. Purnomo added that some of the families sent their women and children. In just one day, tons of food packages were distributed.
Hundreds of Yemeni families in Sana’a expressed their thankfulness for the aid packages.
“One thing that touched me was when an Indonesian flag with Terima Kasih Indonesia (Thank You Indonesia) written on it was waving in Sana’a. There was one lady who patted me on my back while praying for ACT and all the people of Indonesia who came all the way to help the people of Yemen,” concluded Purnomo.