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news | May 15, 2018 | Yemen | Emergency

Building a house that feels like home

Rapid Response mechanism distribution Az Zuhura district, Hudaydah, ACTED 2018

Three years ago, an airstrike hit Haradh. Ali lost his house, his 30 sheep and his hometown in the strike, when he left them behind to seek refuge for his family.

Being a displaced person in the Hajja mountains

Ali, 55 years old, is the head of a family of 14 members. He was living near Haradh until his house was hit by an airstrike that forced him to take his 14 family members to a safer place, in the Hajja high mountains.

“Even though we felt safe there, it was very hard to get water and food. It was hard even for humanitarian organisations to reach us,” he narrates. Ali knew very well that neither him, nor his family could survive without support, which prompted him to move again, this time to Al Muares shelter in Az Zuhra district, with the hope that humanitarian organisations would be able to support them.

Az Zuhra is located in one of the hottest districts of the coastal region. In Az Zuhra, Ali and his family had to search for a shelter among 2,500 internally displaced families coming from different regions of Yemen.

Among them, Adip, 35, fled to Az Zuhra over two years ago to protect his family of five. Adip set up a shelter in Az Zuhra which, devoid of furniture, roof and walls, doesn’t allow to properly shelter his family. He wishes he had the ability to provide his family with a better home, “but in such a situation, it seems unlikely,” he says. Ali found himself in the same situation until ACTED started providing emergency assistance in Az Zuhra.

ACTED’s support to vulnerable households

In Az Zuhra, ACTED meets the immediate needs of vulnerable households such as internally displaced persons residing in collective shelters and host communities, providing them with safe refuge, food assistance and access to water, hygiene and sanitation.

Through this intervention, ACTED relocates displaced people like Ali and Adip in alternative shelters where they can have access to basic services such as non-food items (including blankets, mattresses and kitchen sets) and shelter kits that will help them build better shelters that can meet their basic shelter needs. At the time of the distribution, ACTED provided assistance in assembling the shelter kits for households headed by members with a disability, elderly or child-headed households.

Building a shelter to feel home

ACTED distributes shelter kits based on the number of members in each household. Adip’s family therefore received five blankets, five mattresses, one tent and kitchen tools. “The best thing about the kit were the mattresses and the blankets,” Adip said. “It is a relief seeing your kids lying and sleeping on mattresses while before they had to sleep on the sand.”

Ali as well received a kit that helped him and his family build a better shelter: “ACTED helps us feeling comfortable and at peace. It reminds me of the feeling of being at home”.