Al Makha  – Hussein will never forget the fear he felt on one night five years ago when conflict came to his home and he was forced to flee. The 19-year-old did not have a chance to pack his family’s belongings before leaving their entire life in Mawza behind. 

“I didn’t want to leave my home, I had nowhere to go. The conflict left us with no choice but to run,” said Hussein. 

Hussein and his family thought the worst was over after being displaced, but instead, they struggled to find a place where they could live a safe and comfortable life. 

“We first chose to move to Aden thinking it is going to be safe and that I could find a good job there. We did not realize how difficult that would be until I realized I could not put food on the table or afford housing for my family,” he explained, “Everything was too expensive.” 

Hussein used to be a farmer who lived comfortably off his land, so when he and his family first fled to Aden, it was difficult for him to transfer his skills to a job in the city. He eventually took on debt that he was unable to pay back. 

Hussein eventually decided to move his family back to Ta’iz where they could settle near relatives who helped them build a simple shelter. 

Hussein’s partially constructed shelter he is building for his family in Ta’iz with materials purchased from cash support provided by IOM and YHF. Photo: Majed Mohammed/IOM Yemen 2022

“The debt has been a real burden on me. I could not afford to pay back the money while also trying to earn money for materials to improve our shelter and buy the basics like food or kitchen items,” said Hussein, a 24-year-old father of one child. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Yemen Humanitarian Fund (YHF) have provided multi-purpose cash assistance to Hussein’s family, which has alleviated some of his hardship. More than 6,000 other displaced and shock-affected families living in Yemen’s northern governorates and along Yemen’s west coast and Ma’rib also received this support so far in 2022, with transfers on-going for a further 2,400 families. 

A displaced man receives cash assistance from IOM at a distribution on Yemen’s west coast. Photo: Majed Mohammed/IOM Yemen 2022
A displaced man receives cash assistance from IOM at a distribution on Yemen’s west coast. Photo: Majed Mohammed/IOM Yemen 2022

“These displaced people suffered during the conflict and they need help to recover. This cash assistance gives them the chance to stand on their feet again,” said Tariq, a member of IOM’s field team. 

The cash support was a fresh start for Hussein and his family. They were able to pay for household expenses, put food on the table, construct a better home for the family, and pay off the debts that were holding them back. 

“I was very happy when I received the money, I even cried. It helped my family so much. I managed to pay my debt back and buy some basics such as flour, rice, oil and medicine. And with help from some neighbours and friends, I built a small room for my family to sleep in,” added Hussein. 

This story was written by Majed Mohammed and Mennatallah Homaid - IOM Yemen Communication Assistants 

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities