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Elections to Assist Thousands of Lives Despite the Long-term War

Ash Shamayatayn district is one among other suffering districts of Taizz governorate where the majority of its inhabitants are extremely food insecure. For almost 3 years, the district has become the only safe place for a massive number of affected IDPs coming from different areas that have been mostly torn apart by deadly clashes and armed conflicts. This unspeakable tragedy has left vulnerable people in a desperate need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Consequently, Relief and Development Peer Foundation (RDP) in partnership with Bena Charity for Human Development (BCHD) is implementing the “Emergency Food Assistance to the most Affected and Vulnerable Households” project taking place in Ash Shamayatayn district which is funded by Yemen Humanitarian Pool Fund (YHPF). The major objective of the project is to make sure that vulnerable households – in Alasabih and Adeem sub-districts – are having sufficient access to food rations and getting the help they need to sustain their lives. Accordingly, it would be a whole lot easier if community committees are involved during the project because they are the spokespeople who represent the entire beneficiaries and defend their rights.

On February 12th, 2018, an election to form a community committee was organized in such an unbelievable way in Abdurahman Alghafeqi school of Alasabih sub-district. Also, on January 28th, 2018, a similar election took place in Massajed school of Adeem sub-district. Duties, roles, and responsibilities of a community committee were clarified for the huge gathering of hundreds of people and highlighted in a banner for the crowd to see. Significantly, the whole communities have been fully briefed on the project’s objectives, activities, frequency of distribution, and the selection criteria of beneficiaries.

Obviously, over 1,000 of Adeem’s community members and more than 1,395 of Alasabih’s inhabitants were gathering to form the community committees. Most importantly, they have now become aware that a community committee is voluntary work to help us reach those most in need people who live in further reaches all over the society. Men and women from different villages had the right to nominate themselves and ran for the election. When nominating, community members had to vote with a show of hands in public.

Later on, the results of both elections have been announced that 7 members ( 3 women and 4 men ) – 2 of whom belong to a marginalized group – were chosen as the community committee of Adeem sub-district whereas 14 members ( 9 men and 5 women ) were also selected as the community committee of Alasabih sub-district in Ash Shamayatayn district, Taizz governorate.

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