17th July, 2017
Yemen Cholera Emergency
Yemen's people are on the precipice as another humanitarian disaster emerges
War-torn Yemen is on the cusp of a new humanitarian disaster. According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OHCR), there are currently over 320,000 suspected cases of cholera in Yemen, with over 1,700 deaths since 27th April, (latest figures as of 12th July 2017).
This figure represents the ‘world’s worst cholera outbreak’ according to the World Health Organisation, WHO. Around 40% of cholera deaths in Yemen are children under the age of 15. Malnourished children, older adults, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions are amongst those at greatest risk of death.
Yemen’s people are in the grips of a two-and-a-half-year civil war that has torn the country asunder, creating the conditions for the current cholera outbreak and already established famine. The Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick says the situation is “entirely man-made, as a result of the conflict.”
Yemen’s infrastructure has been decimated by the ongoing civil war. Its health, water and sanitation services are on the brink of collapse - and any aid delivered to the country is made increasingly difficult by current conflict. Yemen’s ports and airports are under blockade, creating a difficult challenge for NGOs trying to deliver life-saving aid.
Less than half of Yemen’s medical centres are functional, representing a crisis years in the making. Currently, around 14.5 million Yemeni people have no access to clean water, ensuring this cholera outbreak is innately difficult to contain.
The UN has received only one-third of the funding required to tackle this emerging disaster, with a further $47 million needed to contain the outbreak and treat the people in need of urgent medical aid.
Penny Appeal have been working in Yemen since 2014 providing emergency food, water and medical aid following a severe famine and lack of resources due to ongoing conflict. Now the people of Yemen need your help more than ever, if they are to survive this latest crisis.
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