Two days ago, the NGO Islamic Relief USA announced a new Emergency Campaign for Yemen. We were curious about this, as our contacts in Yemen told us months ago that IR was providing no medical assistance in the context of the protests throughout Yemen, because the situation was too politically sensitive. We have also been told that IR's Yemen operations are notoriously corrupt and inefficient. At the same time, many people have been asking us how they can help Yemenis affected by the humanitarian crisis in Abyan and 'Aden. People have asked if Islamic Relief is working on the situation.
So, I sent an email to the contact person at IR in Washington, DC, asking for details about the new campaign. I also asked if IR was now going to support the efforts of Yemeni medical volunteers in other cities, as YPP has done. Here is the response I received:
Thank you for your interest in our Yemen campaign. Our Yemen Emergency Campaign focuses on the emerging humanitarian crisis in Abyan and Aden. We seek to support internally displaced people (IDP's) of the region by providing food for families and host communities. Our relief efforts are slated to include creating community kitchens for communities affected by the massive displacement.
The campaign plans to include distribution of hygiene kits as well. Currently our campaign does not include supporting the work of medical volunteers, but I have sent a request to our programs department to notify me if such initiative will be undertaken in the future.
I'm sharing this information so that our friends and supporters can make their own decisions about how best to help. I've also been informed by Yemenis in New York that several mosques there are collecting for Islamic Relief. YPP will of course continue to collect and send funds to people working in Abyan, San‘a, and Ta‘iz. Thank you.