ADEN // Relatives of Yemeni loyalist fighters killed by Houthi rebels thanked the UAE for its support on Friday, as the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) helped families in Aden buy new clothes for Eid Al Adha.
“I cannot describe my happiness today. I got the clothes that will enable me to celebrate this Eid”, said Waleed Abdullah, 14, whose father Saleh was killed in fighting in July.
Waleed is one of 600 children who were helped by the ERC’s clothing project on Friday. The project — one of several ERC projects that aim to provide assistance to the families of killed anti-Houthi fighters during Eid Al Adha — is part of the organisation’s Yemen: We Care campaign. The initiative has so far raised more than Dh502 million since the start of September to help more than 10 million Yemenis affected by the war.
Waleed’s father Saleh, who was the family’s sole breadwinner, left behind a wife and five children, who have struggled to get by without him.
“On 14 July, my father left the house early in the morning to join the resistance and told us that he would not return until the Houthis had been expelled from Aden. However, he was killed in fighting,” Waleed told The National, explaining that without his father, the family had no way of buying clothes.
Waleed, who is still in school, thanked the UAE for supporting the families of those killed in the conflict, saying: “This Eid my father is not with us to celebrate as the other Eids, but the Emirates tried to help us by providing us with clothes to celebrate.”
Rather than distributing clothing, the ERC gives each child a card worth 5,000 Yemeni Rials (Dh85.36), which they can use to buy clothes that they have chosen at the Al Shamel supermarket in Aden’s Khour Maksr district.
“This is not the only project,” said Shadhia Galal, head of the ERC’s campaign in Aden. “There will be another project that includes the distribution of three kilos of meat to each family of the martyrs during the first three days of the Eid.”
In addition, the ERC will support 16 of the poorest families in setting up their own small businesses, such as shops and beauty salons.
Aneesah, 44, the mother of killed anti-Houthi fighter Mohammed Hisham came to the Al Shamel supermarket to buy clothes for her three children.
Mohammed was killed by the Houthis in May during fighting that erupted when the rebels captured Aden’s Al Gaheef district.
“I was very sad as Eid will visit us and my children do not have new clothes for Eid,” she said. “But the Emirates planted the happiness in my heart and my children’s hearts.” -end-