YEMEN 2017


PHOTOS & TEXTS BY GILES CLARKE 


After almost 4 years of relentless conflict, Yemen faces a crisis that has rapidly engulfed the majority of its population. According to latest United Nations reports published, an alarming 20.8 million people - almost two thirds of the population - need humanitarian assistance or protection support. Since mid-2015, when Houthi rebel forces took over the capital city of Sana'a, at least three million people have fled their homes from regions now embroiled in a prolonged ground war. Some 11,000 civilian deaths have been recorded in this devastating conflict. 


 In the spring of 2017, I travelled with a local UNOCHA team around the Houthi-held rebel area documenting the ongoing crisis and crumbling humanitarian situation. Public and civil sector workers along with doctors and nurses had not been paid in over 7 months. With women and children begging on remote rural roads, it seemed that no part of this troubled country was free of the deep turmoil. 


 To make an already dire situation worse, a devastating cholera epidemic subsequently swept the country in May 2017. By late September, some 850,000 people have contracted the disease to date with some 2,100 recorded deaths.




 AL JOUMHOURI HOSPITAL, SAADA CITY, YEMEN - 24 APRIL 2017. 

Batool Ali, aged 6, stands on a hospital bed in Saada. Batool suffers from severe acute malnutrition. At the time the photograph was taken, Batool weighed only 15.8 kgs and only able to ingest liquids. The small pouch attached to her right arm is a local rural potion wrapped in a bag and used to ward off snakes whilst families take overnight shelter in homemade holes in the desert. During the night, many families leave their houses for the desert shelters in fear of airstrikes on their homes. (NB Update -Batool passed away in July 2017 due to cholera complications)

ABS IDP SETTLEMENT, YEMEN - 6 MAY 2017. 

A sandstorm barrels across the landscape near the sprawling ABS IDB settlement in Northeastern Yemen. 

THE ROAD TO HAJJA, YEMEN - 3 MAY 2017.  

SANA'A BUILDING FACADE, SANA'A, YEMEN - 29 APRIL 2017. 

 A building damaged by ground fighting and gunfire during conflict in 2011.     

AAL OKAB SCHOOL, SAADA CITY, YEMEN - 24 APRIL 2017.

Young students play in the ruins of the Aal Okab school, destroyed during the conflict in June 2015. Students now attend lesson in UNICEF tents nearby. 

ON THE ROAD TO SAADA, AMRAN GOVERNORATE - 22 APRIL 2017. 

The twisted remains of a pickup truck close to the main road from Sana’a to Saada City.

IDP COMMUNITY CENTER, SANA'A, YEMEN - 30 APRIL 2017. 

 Majed Shoei was injured in Taizz six months ago when a bomb exploded near to him. He broke his arm and leg as a result. He now lives with his brother in Sana’a, having fled Taizz to escape the hostilities and to seek medical treatment. Money is tight for Majed, who has eight children at home. He used to be a construction worker in Taizz, but now he cannot work due to his medical condition, and cannot afford to pay his medical bills.

IDP BUILDING, SANA'A OUTSKIRTS, SANA'A, YEMEN. 1 MAY 2017. 

 Khairy is a mother of three. She has just given birth to a baby boy. But she is unable to breastfeed because she is undernourished and does not have enough formula milk to feed him.Giles Clarke/UN OCHA 

AL JOUMHOURI HOSPITAL, SAADA CITY, YEMEN - 24 APRIL 2017. 

Batool Ali, aged 6, stands on a hospital bed in Saada. Batool suffers from severe acute malnutrition. At the time the photograph was taken, Batool weighed only 15.8 kgs and only able to ingest liquids. The small pouch attached to her right arm is a local rural potion wrapped in a bag and used to ward off snakes whilst families take overnight shelter in homemade holes in the desert. During the night, many families leave their houses for the desert shelters in fear of airstrikes on their homes.

(NB. Following a report from Yemen, young Batool (pictured here) died during the last week of July 2017 following complications due to cholera) 

MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM AL HUDAYDAH TO SANA'A - 19 APRIL 2017.

AL ABTHI BUILDING, IBB CITY, YEMEN - 21 APRIL 2017. 

 Children peer out of a window in a former government building in the suburbs of Ibb. The building was provided by local authorities to house 53 displaced families who fled here from Taizz after heavy fighting flared up in the summer of 2015. The building has no electricity or running water. The displaced families installed solar panels on the roof of the building to provide power for rudimentary lighting at night. Many of the children help their parents by collecting water and tending to the younger children in the building. 

MOUNTAIN ROAD FROM SANA'A TO AL HUDAYDAH - 17 APRIL 2017. 

Driving through jagged and spectacular mountain passes on the way from Sana’a to the Red Sea port of Al Hudaydah.

SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY HOSPITAL, SANA'A, YEMEN - 29 APRIL 2017. 

 Three-year-old Ahmed and his 6-year-old sister Khaoula survived an attack by an airstrike on their house in Al Mutun (Al Jaouf) on 14 April 2017. Their parents, Mohsin and Dhiba died trying to protect them. Ahmed's knee is completely broken and medical staff say that his right leg will no longer grow. Khaoula lost all her teeth and most of her tongue. 

AL THAWRA HOSPITAL, AL HUDAYDAH, YEMEN - 15 APRIL 2017. 

A suspected cholera patient lies on a wooden bed in a hospital in Al Hudaydah. According to UNICEF figures, as of June 5th 2017, some 70,000 suspected cases of cholera had been reported in the past month alone. That number could quadruple to 300,000 cases by the start of July according to a recent statement by the regional director of UNICEF, Geert Cappelaere. The war is severely hampering access for critical medical supplies.   

SANA'A, YEMEN - 18 APRIL 2017. 

A group of Yemeni men gather to barter chickens and food in the outskirts of Sana’a City.

AL HUBAISHI ORPHANAGE, IBB CITY, YEMEN - 21 APRIL 2017. 

 The slippers of young orphans scattered on the floor of an orphanage in Ibb. The locally-run facility houses more than 200 boys, most of whose fathers were killed in action while serving in the army. In many orphanages in Yemen, children have reportedly been targeted for recruitment by militants.  

AL HUYDAYDAH TO ABS ROAD, YEMEN - 6 MAY 2017. 

Cars and trucks wait in line to pass over a bridge that was hit by an airstrike in 2016. This road is one of four roads linking Al Hudaydah with the rest of the country. 

AL JOUMHOURI HOSPITAL, SANA'A, YEMEN - 3 MAY 2017. 

 A young boy lies in the emergency room awaiting treatment. 

MIGRANT RESPONSE POINT, AL HUDAYDAH, YEMEN - 17 APRIL 2017. 

 Mohammad, aged 17, is from Mogadishu and a survivor of the attack on a migrant boat off the coast of Yemen that killed at least 40 people on 16 March 2017. In early March, he left Mogadishu by car and made it to the port of Basaso (Puntland) before boarding the Yemen-bound boat with 140 others. They sailed through the night and into the next morning. He says he saw the helicopter take off from a large military boat and at first thought they were being saved. The helicopter circled the boat before returning to the ship. A little while later, the helicopter took off again and flew towards the packed migrant boat once more After the second pass, the helicopter came around and opened fire "with big guns that went around”, says Mohammed. Two of his friends with whom he was traveling were killed instantly. He also saw a pregnant woman have her stomach shot open and the baby fall out, before he fell unconscious. He later found out that he had fallen into a coma for six hours before eventually waking up in a hospital in Al Hudaydah, with his right foot amputated. He was discharged after a week in hospital and has been is now living in an IOM (International Organization for Migration) Migrant Response Point with other survivors and recent migrant arrivals. IOM says that 40 people were killed in the attack. According to UNHCR, Yemen hosts over 255,000 Somali refugees. Despite the ongoing conflict and the hazardous journey, more than 117,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Yemen last year. 

AMRAN GOVERNORATE - 14 APRIL 2017.

 Marginalized and displaced; ‘Muhamasheen’ women begging on the road outside Sana’a in Amran Governorate.

SCIENCES AND TECHNOLOGY HOSPITAL, SANA'A, YEMEN - APRIL 29, 2017. 

An 11 year old boy, badly injured by a recent air strike, sleeps on a couch while recovering from skull and facial burns. Limited bed space in hospitals and medical facilities mean many patients are discharged often too early. Many of the injured child patients in this hospital are treated thanks to the support of Al-Ataa, a national NGO funded by OCHA.  

SAADA CITY, SAADA GOVERNORATE, YEMEN. 24 APRIL 2017. 

 A military guard sits in the former Assembly Hall of the Governor of Saada that now lies in ruins following multiple airstrikes in April 2015.       

FORMER GOVERNMENT BUILDING, SAADA CITY, YEMEN - 24 APRIL 2017.   

A local man stands next to a missile casing in a former government building. The building was attacked in April 2015. Since the conflict escalated two years ago, much of the city’s infrastructure have been destroyed.   

AL THAWRA HOSPITAL, SANA'A. YEMEN. 29 APRIL 2017. 

 An injured soldier salutes while being photographed on his hospital bed. His disfiguring facial wounds occurred during an airstrike in the northern Saada region of the country.    

HARAT AL-MASNA'A, YEMEN - 28 APRIL 2017. 

 Children play in a pool of water in the Harat Al-Masna'a slum in Sana'a. This slum, which is close to an urban military base, was hit by two airstrikes last year on the day of the Eid Al-Adha, destroying 25 houses. 

AL JOUMHOURI HOSPITAL, SANA'A, YEMEN - 3 MAY 2017. 

 A suspected cholera patient lies on the floor outside the emergency room, which has now been transformed into a cholera ward. A recent outbreak of cholera has swept over the city, following flooding and sewage overflow. According to UNICEF figures, as of June 5th 2017, some 70,000 suspected cases of cholera had been reported in the past month alone. That number could quadruple to 300,000 cases by the start of July according to a recent statement by the regional director of UNICEF, Geert Cappelaere. The war is severely hampering access for critical medical supplies.     

HARAT AL- MASNA'A, YEMEN - 28 APRIL 2017. 

 Abdellatif Allami walks with his 3-year-old daughter Sara in the Harat Al-Masna'a slum in Sana'a. The slum sits next to a former textile factory and hosts 231 families of former factory workers. The factory, which employed up to 1,600 workers, has been closed since 2005. The former workers used to receive a basic pension of around 30,000 Yemeni rials ($120) per month, but payments stopped seven months ago. Families now rely on donations to survive. 

AAL OKAB SCHOOL , SAADA CITY, YEMEN - 24 APRIL 2017.   

A student at the Aal Okab school stands in the ruins of one of his former classrooms, which was destroyed during the conflict in June 2015. Students now attend lesson in UNICEF tents nearby.   

HUTH, AMRAN GOVERNORATE, YEMEN. 25 APRIL 2017.

 Children watch a mini tornado whip up sand as it travels across the desert landscape near the town of Huth situated about 80km north of Yemen's capital of Sanaa.    

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