Malaysian volunteers recall horrors of war in Yemen


SEPANG: It was a terrifying yet meaningful experience for four volunteers from the Malaysian Relief Agency who joined a humanitarian mission in Yemen.

The four volunteers — Wan Kamarudin Wan Ibrahim; Mohamad Zhafri Ikhwan Roslam, Azizul Naszri Alias and Mohd Fahrin Mohammad, who represented the Malaysian media, were stationed in Oman for 13 days to help the people of Yemen and refugees who were affected by war.

Kamarudin described the situation in Yemen as very unstable.

“I have been to several conflict areas such as Palestine for humanitarian missions but I have never seen a situation as bad as Yemen. The people there are running out of food, water, medicine and shelter.

“There are about 28 million citizens in Yemen, and I can say that two-thirds of the total population need assistance. According to the United Nations, nearly seven million people in Yemen are suffering from famine.

“Some parts of Yemen are also at high risk. We could hear the sound of gunshots everywhere and it seemed normal for the people of Yemen,” he told the New Straits Times after arriving at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), yesterday.

The four, from One-to-One View Production House, arrived at KLIA via Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight SV828 at 1pm.

They joined the mission from April 7-20.

Kamarudin said they had to remain in Yemen for nearly 72 hours before entering Oman. He said the team were assigned to do an assessment in Yemen to identify the areas that needed help in terms of water supply, food and medication.

He said despite the horrifying experience, he was looking forward to joining the mission again.

“For me, it is satisfying to be able to help people in conflict countries despite the danger we had to deal with.

“We have documented the scenes in Yemen, and the video will be shown during the Yemen Charity Night,” he said.

Yemen Charity Night will be held at Vivatel Kuala Lumpur on Apr 30.

Malaysian Relief Agency senior manager Fauziah Tahar said the agency aims to raise RM300,000 at the charity dinner.

“I hope Malaysians will join the charity dinner and watch the documentary video on the hardship of the people affected by war in Yemen.

“We hope to continuously receive public donations even after the dinner. We hope to raise RM4 million for Yemen as lives there are at stake,” she said.

Donations can be channeled to CIMB Bank account 86000 59478 under the name Malaysian Relief Agency Foundation.