During May 2012, a coalition of seven international humanitarian organisations, including International Medical Corps warned that Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food crisis as 10 million people, 44 % of the population are without enough food to eat. Malnutrition rates recorded by the UN in some parts of the country were alarming, with one in three children severely malnourished. A political crisis in Yemen during 2011 increased hunger in the country as food and fuel prices surged, whilst conflict in the north and south the country is also exacerbating the crisis. Nearly half a million people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of conflicts and the search for secure food supplies.
International Medical Corps commenced activities in Yemen in February 2012 and is implementing a programme in the Sana’a governorate focused on primary health care, nutrition, and hygiene promotion in communities that have not had access to these services before.
In collaboration with UNICEF and WFP, International Medical Corps is implementing a supplementary feeding programme for children and pregnant and lactating women, as well as both inpatient and outpatient treatment of children with severe and acute malnutrition. This range of nutrition services ensures that vulnerable groups, particularly children can access the most appropriate forms of care.
Our training workshops also include community health workers and volunteers, teaching how to identify moderate and severe malnutrition and establishing referral mechanisms to acquire adequate care. These trainings provide a means to educate parents and potential patients to improve understanding on what malnutrition is and how to prevent and treat it.
International Medical Corps also works with health volunteers to improve hygiene and sanitation within their communities. Volunteers are trained to take a lead on management of water and maintenance of sanitation facilities within their community, in order to prevent sanitation-related diseases.