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A
non-governmental organisation is a non-profit voluntary group that get involved
in active work such as encouraging education, social and human rights and
carrying out humanitarian aid – depending in what their objectives are. Islamic
Relief was founded in 1984 by a group of medical doctors and activists. They
are an international non-governmental organisation who are influenced and
guided by their Islamic faith. Regardless of race, religion or gender, they
value every human life and provide aid to those who need it most. The
organisation began their work mainly focussing on emergency and disaster
relief, supporting those who have suffered from natural disasters or conflicts.
Alongside this, they carry out sustainable development work providing food,
water, shelter, education, health for the long-term (Islamic Relief UK, 2018). The organisation called for a global
action as the Yemen conflict reaches 1,000 days, urging the United Kingdom,
United States and France to ‘demand an immediate ceasefire’ and lead an
operation with the United Nations to help determine a peace deal for Yemen
(Islamic Relief UK, 2017).

Yemen,
where most of the population are food insecure and millions of children are
acutely malnourished, the organisation is engaged with tackling the hunger.
They are providing those who are malnourished with food and water and in the
long-term helping farmers and fishermen survive the drought. In 1998, Islamic
Relief had begun working in Yemen and in 2003 they set up an office. The
escalation of the war in 2015 made the organisations agenda strengthen
significantly. Islamic Relief in on the ground working in 18 of the country’s
governorates (Islamic-Relief.org, 2017), delivering aid to the harshest and
hardest areas to reach. This is 18 out of 22 governorates, which means that the
organisation has access to most parts of Yemen, allowing them to deliver far
and wide into the country. As Islamic Relief is one of the UN World Food
Programme’s biggest partners, they are able to deliver over 200,000 large food
parcels around Yemen. By working closely with a huge food programme, this will
allow more food packages to be delivered on behalf of both organisations,
allowing more children and families to receive the right nutrients that they
need.

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In
2015, as an attempt to push the Houthi rebels out of Sana’a, Saudi Arabia
started to patrol Yemen’s port. Eventually, Saudi Arabia had sealed off the
rebel-held ports after a missile fired into Riyadh from Yemen (Council on
Foreign Relations, 2017). The blockade had huge effect on aid getting through
to children and families as entry points had been shut down or delivery routes
had been damaged. Blockade was not only done by the Saudi-led coalition, but
parts of Yemen such as the city of Taiz has been sieged by the Houthis,
preventing medical supplies from reaching those in need. Before the war, Yemen
imported 90% of their food which was mostly by ships at sea and so, millions
relied on imported food. The importation of food had been a struggle due to the
blockade and even before the blockade, searches by oppositions of the ships
meant that ship supplies would have been delayed. Saudi Arabia was forced to
lift their blockade after three weeks as there was an international objection
and the Yemeni ports of entry gradually started to see shipments of
humanitarian aid.

Islamic
Relief are also on the grounds of Yemen providing medical assistance to over
200,000 people who are suffering from cholera. The disease has spread to almost
every part of Yemen, with Sana’a, Amran, Hajjah and Taiz being some of the
worst. Hospitals are struggling to cope, and this is not surprising at all.
Many hospitals are not functioning properly as there is a lack basic medical
equipment and drugs to treat their patients. People are catching this disease
as they do not have enough food nor access to any clean water. The organisation
has equipped hospitals and clinics around Yemen, to help support the medical
professionals in working with the sick, injured and malnourished. Installation
of water tanks have also taken place, providing the public with access to clean
and safe water. The outbreak of cholera has claimed over 2,000 lives and has
affected over 900,000 people (Islamic Relief UK, 2017).

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