Worry in Yemen After UK Cuts Ramadan Giving

Following the UK government’s decision to cut funding to Yemen this year, some of the UK’s largest Muslim charities are focusing their Ramadan campaigns on Yemen. The reductions have sparked heavy criticism.

Worry in Yemen After UK Cuts Ramadan Giving
Image courtesy of Reuters/Worry in Yemen After UK Cuts Ramadan Giving

Ramadan, the Islamic fasting month that began this week, is the largest sharing among the Muslim community in the United Kingdom. According to the Muslim Charities Forum, approximately 3.5 million Muslims in the United Kingdom contributed over £120 million to global charitable causes during Ramadan in 2018.

Following the UK government’s decision to cut funding to Yemen this year, some of the UK’s largest Muslim charities focus their Ramadan campaigns on Yemen. The reductions have sparked heavy criticism.

Yemen in Crises

Yemen is facing the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and the country is on the verge of famine. According to UNICEF, more than 80% of Yemen’s population, i.e., about 24 million people, need humanitarian assistance. The majority of this population includes more than 12 million children. It is estimated that in 2021, almost 2.3 million children under the age of five will be malnourished.

Muslim Hands is hoping to collect the £6 million it needs to invest in the country during Ramadan. The charity raised £32 million to £10.6 million last year during Ramadan. It spent about £1.1 million on its work in Yemen.

According to Abdul Rahman Hussein, Yemen’s country director, the UK government cuts are “shocking” and will have a significant effect.

“Imagine one child under the age of five dying every ten minutes in Yemen. They need to raise the funds, not decrease them. After six years of fighting, things have only gotten worse,” he said.

During a Yemen trip, Hussein said he saw children as young as six faintings from hunger at school. Also, at a certain aid center, a family begged him to take their children because they couldn’t care for them any longer.

They said, “We can’t feed them, can you take them?” Hussein remembered hearing something like that.

Muslim Hands Contributions

For years, Muslim Hands has been extending aids of different forms to impoverished communities in Yemen. They have been providing a month’s worth of essential food products, such as flour, rice, oil, and beans, to feed a family of seven. Hussein states that for millions of Yemenis, the difference between life and death is a simple food pack. Most of the time, the people are unsure when their next meal will arrive.


The charity has established three bread factories in two cities of Yemen. Each of these facilities spends about £360 a day to feed 5,000 people with two loaves of bread. It intends to increase the number of factories from three to five.

Also, Muslim Hands operates school feeding programs and a medical center in Abyan. The center sees up to 90 people every day, the majority of whom are teenagers. It provides emergency assistance, nutrition, and immunizations, as well as reproductive and maternal health care. The cost of running the center is £350 a day.

Hussein, who originally is from Yemen, says though he lived in the UK for 23 years, he occasionally visited his homeland. But now, so much has changed. He no longer recognizes his country as he has never seen a situation like that in his entire life.

Islamic Relief

It is UK’s largest Muslim charity, and for years it has collected vast amounts through Ramadan fundraisings. In 2021, the Organization received more than 40% of its annual income. The Organization links the large amounts during Ramadan to zakat, which is Muslim’s compulsory charity. That is, many prefer giving out zakat during Ramadan.

The charity runs programs in 17 of the country’s 22 governorates. It funds nutrition programs in 155 health centers and constructs and maintains water and sanitation infrastructure. Muhammad Zulqarnain Abbas, Islamic Relief’s Yemen country chief, stated that they help 2.3 million people get food every month.

Abbas further explains that since most of the Yemen families cannot afford proper foods during Sahur and Iftar, they feel miserable. Therefore, they are finding it had to survive at a time of Ramadan and Covid.

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