“This is the only hope we get to face the harsh life we are going through”
On the sound of the dropping beads of his father's rosary, Ali Nasser Al-Zaidi introduces himself: 38 years old, from Amran governorate in Yemen, married, father of five daughters and one son. Ali is the only son of his father and mother and the sole breadwinner of a family of ten. He dropped high-school to take care of them. Sitting in their humble home, one can’t but notice Ali’s 84-year-old father, on whom both age and illness have left their marks, Ali’s mother and the rest of his family sitting around him trying to show strength and patience. The war has had a significant impact on them, especially because they lack a regular source of income. Like Ali’s family, about 70 per cent of the villagers are living in poverty.
One woman and six newborns die every two hours from complications during pregnancy or childbirth in Yemen - UNICEF
“Regardless of what I do, I feel I can make a difference and contribute to saving more lives”
After driving for several hours, a UNICEF mobile team finally arrived at its destination. Dr. Wail Al-Hajj keeps smiling. He will finally be able to meet the health workers operating in this remote Therapeutic Feeding Centre, far from Al Hudaydah city, where many children suffering from malnutrition are being treated. “Since I was a little boy, I always felt passionate about helping those in need,” Dr. Wail, UNICEF Nutrition Officer in Aden, says. Today, while assessing the situation at the centre, he will make sure to sit and spend some time with the little patients and their families, to better understand what caused their health deterioration.
Yemen: Parenting in a War Zone series
More than four years of armed conflict in Yemen have served to worsen the situation of women and children at birth within a country that was already the poorest in the Middle East and one of the world’s most impoverished even before the war escalated early in 2015. This series highlights the risks mothers and children go through during the 9 months of pregnancy and at birth and brings to the fore the burden on the shoulders of fathers struggling to help their children survive and grow in the midst of conflict.