September 4, 2022 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a 12-month project to support the provision of life-saving emergency health services to the most vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas across Yemen through a contribution 2.5 million euros from the European Union.
This partnership aims to directly assist more than 152,000 Yemenis, including 33,000 children and 30,500 internally displaced people. 17 hospitals across Yemen will receive support in four main areas of humanitarian health service delivery: trauma care and emergency care referral services; mental health and psychosocial support; strengthening of the national health information management system and rapid response to epidemics.
“The health system in Yemen is devastated and on the verge of collapse, while the health needs of the most vulnerable people have increased overall by 11% since 2021,” said Dr Adham Rashad Ismail Abdel-Moneim, representative WHO in Yemen. “Through this project, and in partnership with EU humanitarian aid, we can better meet many of the acute and urgent health needs of the most vulnerable people through a full range of essential health services.”
The project will also address trauma care and emergency care referral services, ensuring the continued provision of ambulance services, fuel, medical equipment and other supplies, as well as training in the only facility in the pre-hospital system in Yemen, based in the city of Aden.
“Currently, more than 21.9 million Yemenis do not have access to essential health services. Seven years of conflict have not only left the health sector in tatters, but have also severely weakened people’s resilience. Indiscriminate attacks, food insecurity and epidemics have a devastating impact on their well-being,” said Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management. “One of the EU’s humanitarian priorities in Yemen is to alleviate people’s suffering, both physical and mental, and to ensure that they can access quality healthcare.”
Hospitals supported by this project will benefit from plans to establish mental health units that will provide mental health and psychosocial support services and psychotropic medication. Medical and non-medical staff will also be trained to assess and manage mental health conditions of vulnerable groups, including women, children, internally displaced people, refugees, migrants and people with disabilities.
Yemen’s fragmented health information system will also receive support to improve information sharing among health partners to ensure informed decision-making and strengthen operational processes in health emergency responses. This includes building national capacity to improve and operate the District Health Information Software (DHIS2) data collection system, which is hampered by frequent power outages and poor internet connectivity.