Japan-IOM Partnership Provides Health Care in Yemeni Governorate with Highest Displacement

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Ma’rib — The conflict in Yemen has led to the collapse of essential public services, leaving millions of people without access to vital health care. To support communities affected by the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, the Government of Japan is partnering once again with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to reach over 50,000 people in Ma’rib governorate through emergency health services.

After more than six years of conflict, nearly 80 per cent of Yemen’s population are in need of humanitarian assistance and of those in need, approximately 17.9 million people require health support.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has further stretched the Yemeni health care system, overwhelming medical facilities that already lacked financial resources, doctors, medicine and medical equipment,” said John McCue, IOM Yemen Deputy Chief of Mission.

Despite severe underreporting, over 2,400 COVID-19 cases were reported countrywide in March of this year alone, which is the highest in a single month since the start of the pandemic. McCue added that “an alarming second wave has truly begun in Yemen and is expected to further deepen the already dire humanitarian crisis. Our partnership with Japan is key to ensuring people in Ma’rib have access to essential health care, despite the daily conflict across the governorate.”

Next to its impact on civilians, the conflict has taken a massive toll on public sector institutions, infrastructure and services

“Supporting vulnerable communities in Yemen is a priority for the Government of Japan, and with only half of the country’s health facilities fully functional, ensuring these communities have access to health care is essential to their survival,” said Kazuhiro Higashi, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of Japan in Yemen.

“The Government of Japan is joining with IOM to provide emergency and essential health services to vulnerable populations by supporting a health centre and two mobile medical teams in Ma’rib,” added Mr Higashi.

Through this project, IOM will improve access to a full package of primary health services, as well as referrals to secondary and tertiary level care, for vulnerable communities, including displaced people, conflict-affected communities and migrants.

Ma’rib saw the highest levels of displacement in 2020, and a surge in fighting in February, caused another spike in displacement this year. Local authorities and humanitarian partners, who were already grappling with limited resources while responding to the needs of some one million displaced people across the governorate, are struggling further to meet both the existing and growing needs, including the provision of vital health care.

“When I first brought my daughter to Al Shaheed hospital, she was nearly dead, so I am relieved that my daughter is getting proper health care at this nursery. Every day I come to visit her, and my hope of seeing her fully recovered grows bigger and bigger,” said Wafa, a displaced woman, who brought her sick daughter to receive care at an IOM and Japan supported hospital in Ma’rib earlier this year. Her daughter is now back home, healthy.

Since 2019, Japan and IOM have provided primary health care to around 100,000 vulnerable people in Yemen. IOM provides life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable populations in Yemen and, in 2020, the Organization supported a total of 3.2 million people with health services.

For more information, please contact IOM Yemen:

English – Olivia Headon, Tel: +967730552233, Email: [email protected]     

Arabic – Menna Homaid, Tel: +967739888755, Email: [email protected]