News + Media

Find out more about how we are working together to support international organisations, Yemen’s public health authorities and communities respond to the crisis.

The UN and Private Sector launch a new partnership to tackle COVID-19 in Yemen

April 22, 2020

A group of multinational companies and the United Nations have joined together to launch the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen (IICY). This new, very special partnership is being led by the Hayel Saeed Anam Foundation, supported by the United Nations.

COVID-19 threatens to worsen what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. 24 million people need some form of humanitarian assistance and protection to survive. Half of the population is hungry and more than 7 million people, including two million children, are malnourished.

Yemeni authorities reported the first lab confirmed case of COVID-19 in Yemen on 10 April 2020. The UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, has warned that COVID-19 will spread faster, more widely and with deadlier consequence in Yemen than in many other countries.

"The impact of COVID-19 will be catastrophic in Yemen," said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. "Immunity levels across the population are some of the lowest in the world and acute vulnerabilities some of the highest. Combine this with a very fragile health system and it's clear to everybody that hundreds of thousands of people could become ill, and many will need intensive care in hospitals."

The aim of the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen is to support the efforts of authorities in both channelling medical supplies to the country and suppressing, mitigating and addressing COVID-19. Working closely with World Health Organization (WHO), IICY partners will provide support to communities, front-line healthcare professionals and clinical and scientific experts through UN channels.

The founding partners of IICY are: Hayel Saeed Anam Foundation, Tetra Pak, Unilever, the United Nations, the Yemen Private Sector Cluster and the Federation of Yemen Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

Nabil Hayel Saeed Anam, Chair of the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen said:

“Yemen’s healthcare infrastructure will not be able to cope with the pressure placed on the system by COVID-19. We all fear that the result will be a major loss of life.

“The International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen believes in the power of partnership and is united in our desire to help Yemen in its time of need.

“We will never turn our backs on Yemen and we warmly welcome other private sector organisations and NGOs to join us in our efforts. The people of Yemen need us now.”

About the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen

The International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen (IICY) is a collaborative partnership of businesses and international organisations united by a desire to assist Yemen’s response to COVID-19, at a critical time for the country and its people. IICY partners have joined together to work collaboratively to help international organisations and the Yemeni authorities respond to COVID-19 and help tackle challenges on the ground. Brought together and chaired by Hayel Saeed Anam Foundation, IICY aims to make use of its partners’ collective operational expertise, resources and knowledge to assist the Yemeni and international authorities and support communities in need. IICY will seek to help strengthen Yemen’s resilience in the face of the global pandemic and enable clinical and scientific experts to respond effectively to COVID-19. IICY’s founding members include Hayel Saeed Anam Foundation, Tetra Pak, Unilever, the United Nations, the Yemen Private Sector Cluster and the Federation of Yemen Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

Together we are stronger

Get in touch