UN raises alarm over cholera outbreak in Yemen
|Cholera-infected Yemenis receive treatment amid an acute cholera outbreak at a hospital in Sana'a, Yemen.- EPA|
(Vatican Radio) Yemen is in the midst of the world’s worst cholera outbreak. In the last three months alone, 400,000 cases of suspected cholera and nearly 1900 associated deaths have been recorded.
The country is on the brink of famine, with over 60 per cent of the population not knowing where their next meal will come from.
The heads of three United Nations agencies, UNICEF, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have just returned from a visit to Yemen to see for themselves the scale of this humanitarian crisis and to step up their combined efforts to help the people there.
In a joint statement they said that, “thousands are falling sick every day. Sustained efforts are required to stop the spread of disease. Nearly 80 percent of Yemen’s children need immediate humanitarian assistance.”
Speaking to Lydia O’Kane from Sana’a city, Communications Officer, Reem Nada spoke about the current situation on the ground.
“The cholera outbreak is actually compounding a very complex situation in Yemen because already we have malnutrition, we have hunger, 70 million people are suffering, they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.”
Asked how WFP is responding to the situation, she said, “the World Food Programme have been scaling up its operations constantly over the past year and last month we have been able to reach a record number of 5.5 million across the country… This month we are aiming to support 7 million people.”
The Heads of the three United Nations agencies are now calling “on the international community to redouble its support for the people of Yemen.”