CAFOD and other humanitarian agencies warn that Yemen’s health care system, already ravaged by five years of civil war, is collapsing, while its people risk famine as the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest country struggles with the coronavirus pandemic.
“Yemen is desperate for peace,” Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian co-ordinator for Yemen, said of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in which 24 million people have no choice but to depend on international aid. A 2nd June donors’ pledging conference raised only a little over half of the $2.41 billion needed to cover essential aid until the year end, leaving a gap of more than $1 billion.
“Humanitarian agencies are running out of money and Covid is spreading. Millions of people who depend on food aid and the health services…to fight cholera and malaria are now hanging by a thread,” Grande said. “There’s only one answer – the war needs to stop.”
Yemen’s civil war has left more than 100,000 dead and displaced 4 million people.
The UN said nearly 80 per cent of Yemenis need aid because millions are homeless, malnourished, or have cholera and dengue fever.
Picture: Children wearing protective masks look out the window of their home in Sanaa, Yemen, on 7th June 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic. (CNS photo/Khaled Abdullah, Reuters).