Updated: Aug 4
March 13, 2020
The ongoing conflict in Yemen, now in its fifth year, has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that 24 million people, almost 80% of the population, are in need of assistance.[i] Landmines pose dangerous obstacles to access humanitarian aid and have dramatically increased the loss of lives and limbs of innocent civilians. There are currently more than 9,000 landmine/ERW (explosive remnants of war) casualties in Yemen.[ii]
The Marshall Legacy Institute (MLI) received a letter of request to establish a Mine Detection Dog (MDD) Program within the Yemen Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC) to enhance humanitarian demining capacity and increase the pace of clearance operations. Last month, the Defense Minister, General Mohammed Ali Maqdashi, who earlier delivered the request to MLI, narrowly escaped injury when his convoy hit a landmine buried in the road, killing seven. Due to the continued loss of life and limbs of innocent Yemenis and the personal plea of assistance from General Maqdashi, MLI is immediately launching a campaign to raise $1 million to provide lifesaving MDDs to YEMAC, train Yemeni handlers to safely and effectively employ the valuable dogs to “sniff out” landmines, and provide prosthetic limbs and rehabilitative care to hundreds of Yemenis, especially children, injured by the dangerous explosives.
MLI, a non-profit organization located in Arlington, VA, has provided critically needed assistance to more than a dozen of the world’s most war-torn countries since 1997. With the generosity of private Americans and in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, MLI has donated over 250 lifesaving dogs and provided vocational training and rehabilitative care to 1,500 landmine survivors. Not a single one of MLI’s highly-trained MDDs has been killed or injured while on the job. MLI’s robust mine action and social impact programs help beneficiary countries help themselves recover from war. In collaboration with the Yemeni Association for Landmine Survivors since 2009, MLI has helped 600 survivors reintegrate into society and improve their financial livelihoods. Deserving graduates of MLI’s vocational training courses receive competitive mini-grants to open and operate their own small businesses. Survivors have established successful businesses in which they make and sell handicrafts, textiles, honey, and carpentry products.
MLI thanks the Embassy of Yemen in Washington, DC for its unwavering and continuous support of our programs. Ambassador Dr. Ahmed bin Mubarak made the following statement:
"MLI retains the right expertise, experience and expediency to help with humanitarian mine action in Yemen including for indigenous demining capacity-building efforts – and whose overall efforts will mitigate any potential additional landmine victims, most especially innocent children, whose lives have been traumatized and will require rehabilitative care. Yemen will need many years to discover and dismantle these terrible landmines. MLI can help Yemen to address our significant landmine concerns and to assist on aspects of their social impact, both currently and going forward."
The kind and generous response from caring global citizens will enable MLI to support the urgent YEMAC/MOD request and to expand existing humanitarian programs to help address the growing needs of landmine/war survivors. MLI thanks all donors for helping to make Yemen a better and safer place for all to live, work and play without the fear of landmines. Please click here to donate (make sure to select “Mine Victims' Assistance: Yemen” in the dropdown menu): https://marshall-legacy.kindful.com/.
For additional information, contact the Marshall Legacy Institute at (703) 243-9200 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[ii] Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, October 21, 2018, http://www.the-monitor.org/en-gb/reports/2019/yemen/casualties.aspx.