29th September 2017

Tearfund Latest Prayer Points

 

Yemen: When the world looks away

 

 

Over the last year, the eyes of the world have occasionally turned to Yemen. And when they’ve turned, they’ve seen and wept at the crisis and desperation. But fixing focus has been harder. That focus is what is needed, according to Tearfund’s Middle East Response Director, Kieren Barnes.

 

With over 700,000 cases of cholera affecting over 90 per cent of the country, and a conflict that has devastated lives, and destroyed much of its infrastructure and economy, this is a nation on its knees.

 

Our News Editor Andrew Horton began by asking Kieren for an overview:

 

What are the big headlines we should know about today?

 

This remains the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. With everything else that's going on globally, this is still the worst situation, and one of the most under-resourced responses.

 

The scale of need is increasing, so we haven't got past that point yet, which is a big concern.

 

Employment levels have plummeted. There are no jobs. There's no food coming in. There's a lack of resources. Issues of not having enough safe water, etc, and therefore problems become worse because of that. People are hungry, people are thirsty, systems are not working.

 

Salaries for doctors and nurses aren't getting paid. So, as much as these people want to work to help their communities, they also need to feed their families. As much as they would want to help those who are sick, they themselves are struggling to provide food and support their own families.

 

Remind us: how did we get to this desperate situation?

 

We're looking at a conflict that's developed from multiple angles.

 

Civilians are caught up in the middle, and that's our biggest concern. Yemen is fractured into pieces, with different parts controlled by different groups.

 

Even things like food coming into the country, the supply lines for people to live and work, have all dried up.

 

So you’re saying it’s like the people are trapped in a pressure-cooker environment?

 

Yes, it is a like a pressure-cooker. People don't have options. They don't have the ability to leave. If you think about it, just simply geographically, it's incredibly hard. You can't go north to Saudi Arabia, to the east is desert and everything to the south is sea.

 

Added to that you've got the various conflicts in the area and the different groups who are fighting each other, it makes it almost impossible to leave.

 

The pressure on those communities to survive in this environment is very high; their coping mechanisms, their ability to handle this they've all been depleted.

 

And then there’s the cholera outbreak on top of all this?

 

Yes, this is the largest cholera crisis recorded in one country in a single year. As we speak, the number of cases recorded this year in Yemen stands at 738,719. That is a shocking number in this day and age. We shouldn't be in a situation where a preventable and treatable disease like cholera can get to the levels we’re seeing in Yemen.

 

Our partners are setting up cholera treatment centres. We're not only responding to the cholera itself, but also working to prevent future cases. This is about making sure there is safe water to drink, and good latrines where the waste-water is dealt with appropriately.

 

We're trying to increase the number of partners we have on the ground. We're trying to increase our response and to reach into new areas. But it is challenging.

 

Famine hasn’t officially been declared, but getting access to food must be challenging as well?

 

As with tackling cholera, we're working to scale up our response in the area of food security. If you've got vulnerable people such as malnourished children, mothers and pregnant women, they are not going to be able to cope with cholera anywhere near as much as somebody who is better-nourished.

 

Our partners who have specialised skills are setting up therapeutic feeding centres to help deal with critical cases.

 

They are also providing six months’ worth of food to families who are affected by cholera and have malnourished children.

 

You said this is a man-made crisis, but is there an end in sight?

 

At this time, it’s hard to see an end in sight as the situation is still deteriorating. The conflict needs to be resolved. Until that happens, the situation will struggle to improve. This is a global crisis. It's not just about those inside Yemen. There are external factors that all feed into this.

 

A global crisis and a global responsibility?

 

Yes, there's a responsibility that countries are not stepping up to.

 

It's an ongoing and forgotten crisis. It's the biggest in the world, and we would advocate that this needs to be more highly prioritised globally. Countries need to take responsibility. That comes with funding the humanitarian response, and that comes with ending the conflict and the civilian casualties it’s leading to.

 

How encouraged are you by the courage of our partners?

 

I'm amazed by our partners. They have incredible resilience and commitment to these communities. We have partners who are based on the ground, who are Yemeni, who are local. They're committed to the Yemeni people, and we need to support them as much as we can. They need time to rest, but it's relentless, and there is no time, because this is life-saving. Their passion and their heart is overwhelming.

 

We don't want to give up, because we can't give up. If we do, then people will suffer, people will die. So this is a life-saving response. There's no option. We won’t stop.

 

Support Tearfund's life-saving work in Yemen. <http://tearfund.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cd19eb0b2a74af14054950f15&id=6552bb3b42&e=b67d6b82a4>

 

 

Please pray

 

 

* Please lift up Kieren and the rest of the Tearfund staff and partners working in extremely difficult circumstances to save lives and bring hope in Yemen.

* Pray especially for crucial work to prevent the further spread of cholera; that it will have a powerful impact, and quickly.

* Pray for those lacking food, especially young children, babies and pregnant women. Ask for God's blessing to be on the feeding centres set up to help them, and on those who work there.

* Let's cry out for an end to the conflict that is fuelling the crisis in Yemen.

 

<https://gallery.mailchimp.com/cd19eb0b2a74af14054950f15/images/7c057f56-bebf-46ce-84e4-390722e33e7e.jpg>

A note from...

 

 

'I felt privileged to interview Kieren about the crisis in Yemen. It brought home to me again how desperate the plight is of Yemenis today. Even so, I was encouraged by the great work of our partners and particularly the courage they are showing.'

 

Andrew Horton

Online News and Film Editor

 

 

PRAYER POINTS FROM

AROUND THE WORLD

 

 

*

 

Prayer Item #1

 

In West and Central Africa we are reaching out to more denominations, churches and theological colleges to engage them in the fight against poverty. Please pray for all our partners that they will be emboldened to pursue this vision to see churches inspired in mission and communities flourishing.

*

 

Prayer Item #2

 

Heavy rains have caused flooding on the Caribbean coast in Columbia. As a result more than 110,000 people are facing the loss of crops and belongings, and children are suffering increased health problems. Please pray for the affected communities as the rainy season is expected to continue until the end of October.

*

 

Prayer Item #3

 

Praise God that the eruption of the Manaro Voui volcano in Vanuatu hasn't caused any loss of life. Pray that Mount Agung in Bali, which is showing increased seismic activity, will not erupt.

 

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ROHINGYA REFUGEES TEARFUND’S RESPONSE

 

The plight of the Rohingya refugees has shocked the world. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled violence in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar, into neighbouring Bangladesh...

Read more... <http://tearfund.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cd19eb0b2a74af14054950f15&id=0498e13e62&e=b67d6b82a4>

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POETIC JUSTICE

 

To mark National Poetry Day, Tearfund asked its supporters to write a short poem on the subject of freedom. We have a winner (and a couple of ace runners up too.) The deliciously nostalgic and hope-filled winner comes courtesy of Katrina Quinn...

Read more... <http://tearfund.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=cd19eb0b2a74af14054950f15&id=a555b62d88&e=b67d6b82a4>

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