Real lives: Khairiyah Al Mohsen Al-Shaddadi

Yemen Emergency Cash Transfer Project

UNICEF Yemen
a family
UNICEF/Yemen/PMU/2019

21 February 2020

On the edge of Ibb governorate in the village of Mahadeb lives Khairiyah, a mother of three and a widow. She is devoted to providing for her three children, all of whom have an intellectual disability. 

Since her husband’s death, Khairiyah has been working in a small orchard owned by her brother-in-law planting seedlings. With the ongoing conflict, this is all the help that her brother-in-law is able to provide.  Since her children cannot be left alone, they come with her to the orchard.  The work is physically demanding, and Khairiyah’s ability is limited because of diabetes and hypertension.  With the little money Khairiyah earns from working in the orchard, she struggles to pay the costs of medical treatment and medicines for all her children.  She frequently borrows money in order to purchase the medicine her children need.

two boys
UNICEF/Yemen/PMU/2019
Khairiyah’s sons.
a girl with a stuffed doll
UNICEF/Yemen/PMU/2019
Khairiyah’s daughter

Khairiyah was overjoyed when she learned about the resumption of the quarterly payments to Social Welfare Fund beneficiaries through the Emergency Cash Transfer (ECT) project. “When I first heard about the ECT cash benefit, I gave it a lot of thought and said to myself, definitely, they are fooling us. How could I reach them [the payment site]? But, I got a surprise when I saw the UNICEF team at my door.  They came all the way to our village, which is 6 kilometres away from the city, so I was delighted.”

family eating together
UNICEF/Yemen/PMU/2019
Khairiyah and her three children sharing a meal

The ECT project “is the hope which we rely on ….” Khairiyah says. “The glimmer of joy that they have given us through the provision of the ECT cash benefit has given us some cause for optimism.”