More than 20 million people in Yemen – two-thirds of the population – are now in need of humanitarian assistance, with malnutrition widespread and clean water scarce. The country has now also been hit by the fastest growing cholera epidemic ever recorded. Since April there have been almost a million suspected cases, with over 2,200 deaths. More than half of the suspected cases have been children.
5,000 CHILDREN DEAD OR HURT AND 400,000 MALNOURISHED
Unicef says five children a day have been killed or injured since March 2015, with ‘nearly every child in Yemen’ in need of humanitarian aid. Fifty thousand children expected to die by the end of this year from starvation and disease, seven million people on the brink of famine, the world’s worst cholera epidemic ever. The state of Yemen today, all of it, made even worse by Saudi Arabia’s blockade, which is stopping aid agencies from getting vital relief supplies into the country.
Yemen is experiencing one of the world’s largest, most complex humanitarian crises. Almost the entire population of 22.2 million people requires humanitarian assistance. The conflict has led to the internal displacement of over 2 million people, left 1.25 million public sector workers without pay for a year, and undermined access to ports and airports, obstructing essential humanitarian and commercial deliveries. In addition,5 million people lack access to safe water and there are over 1 million suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) and cholera.
The outbreak has been exacerbated by the collapse of public systems, which are further strained by fuel shortages. More than 1,100 children have been killed or maimed and millions more are threatened by growing food insecurity, poor water and sanitation and the spread of preventable diseases. The recent spread of diphtheria is another grave concern. Lack of livelihood opportunities has given rise to desperate coping mechanisms, including increased household borrowing and rising rates of child marriage and recruitment of children into armed forces and groups. An estimated 400,000 children under 5 years will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2018, and the damage or closure of schools and health facilities will threaten children’s development for years to come. SMT is working with partners on the ground to ease the suffering of these people by providing food, water, clothing, and medical aid.