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Short of masks and short of protective gowns, Yemen's overstretched medical workers started dying from COVID-19. Nadia Dhrah — herself a doctor — was dismayed, so she resolved to do what she could to help.

Dhrah, who had set up a tiny business making surgical masks and clothing in 2019, thought her company could meet demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) more quickly than expensive imports amid a deepening currency crisis after years of war.

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