Yemen: Displaced people in Marib struggle to survive in the desert

MSF nurse Yaseem checks the temperature of a patient

Yemen 2022 © Hesham Al Hilali

Marib governorate is an active front line in the ongoing war in Yemen. In this harsh desert setting, around 150 informal camps serve as temporary homes for displaced Yemenis, African migrants, and others affected by the violence; some 13,000 families arrived at these sites in 2021. People taking refuge here lack water, food, adequate shelter, and access to health care.

“The tents are not suitable. They cannot protect us from the rain,” said Mojahed, an internally displaced person (IDP). "They can’t protect us from the heat or the cold.” Eayad Selah, another IDP in Marib, said, "as the number of displaced people increases, there are not enough toilets for everyone. Toilets are very necessary."

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing essential medical services through eight mobile clinics and a primary health care center. Staff have seen an increasing number of patients with illnesses related to poor living conditions such as acute diarrhea and fever and a recent uptick in malnutrition. MSF is concerned that if conditions are not improved quickly in the camps, there could be outbreaks of measles, cholera, or COVID-19.