“We barely have one meal a day”

“We barely have one meal a day”

Publication info

Hind Abbas, CARE Yemen

Hamamah, 45, was displaced with her three daughters from Razah in Amran. They struggle to find enough food on daily bases.

"Today is Friday, my favorite day of the week. It is a family day when everyone gathers and enjoys the warmth of a big happy family. On this day I usually woke up at 6am. I used to be very energized, full of joy and excited to see everyone. I started preparing the dough to make bread, then I prepare breakfast. Our breakfast usually consisted of eggs with milk and baked bread. My daughters went to the well to bring water. Then happily with love I started cooking lunch. On this day I made my favorite meal which is meat with beans or vegetables, rice, soup and baked bread. At 1 pm everyone arrived and we had lunch together. We laughed, shared news and talked about different aspects of life. Unfortunately, things have changed. Now, our house is destroyed and my only son and husband are dead. Now we barely have one meal a day!!”

Fleeing from Razah

“It was around eight in the morning when we fled our house. It was a very painful experience to flee and leave everything behind, our village and most importantly leave my husband and son behind. They passed away during the airstrike which hit our house directly. We were scared, it was like we were walking on an unknown path. Now we are displaced in Amran. We rented a house that we weren’t able to pay for months now.” 

Hamamah and her family live in Razah village Sa’dah a district in the north of Yemen. Over the past two years Sa’dah has become a frontline for airstrikes and ground fighting. Many families have fled violence several times. People lost their homes, their family members and their livelihoods. Now, they are dependent on aid. 

Daily bases struggling

“Recounting how our lives used to be… we had a farm and livestock, my husband was the sole provider for the family. Now I am alone with my daughters, we have absolutely nothing. We are dependent on the aid we get from different organization. Sometimes, we borrow or ask our neighbors. I sometimes try to save the supply of food so that it is going to be enough until we get the second supply by having one meal a day. Sometimes I cry at night thinking of what my children have to go through and how they are still so young and their bodies need nutrition but I can’t offer enough food to them.” Around 17 million people are food insecure in Yemen, and almost 7 million need urgent assistance to save their lives.

Hamamah receives a monthly food basket that contains 10 liters of oil, 25 kg of wheat, 25kg of sugar, 0.5kg of salt and 5kg of beans. This basket is received every two months due to the overwhelming number of people in need. 

“When you step your feet in the hospital you have to pay money”

Hamamah and one of her daughters got sick with cholera. With the help of their relatives they managed to go to the hospital to get treatment, but they were not able to finish the whole treatment as they didn’t have enough money. “Every step you take in the hospital you need to pay for," says Hamamah with tears flowing from her eyes. They were able to recover through home remedy treatment.

Hamamah and her family are one of many families in Yemen who are displaced and suffer on a daily basis from poverty and cholera. She wishes if she could go back in time to her comfortable and stable house. “Our house was still new and full of life. Now, after the death of my husband and son, we have no one left to care for us,” Hamamah says. 

"We barely have one meal a day," says Hamamah, a 45-year-old who lives with her three daughters in Amran, Yemen. CARE / Abdulhakim Al-Ansi