6 August 2013: People in Yemen are at risk of contracting wild poliovirus due to a large influx of Somali refugees. The first case of polio was reported in the Horn of Africa in May 2013. Since then, the virus has spread as Somali refugees moved to neighbouring countries, including Kenya and Yemen.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 35,876 Somali refugees have fled to Yemen during 2013. To mitigate the risk of polio transmission in Yemen, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has released US$2,000,492 to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
UNICEF, with an allocation of $258,405, and WHO, which received $1,742,087, will work together to implement a vaccination campaign targeted at 3 million children under age 5 in high-risk areas. These areas include Aden, Abyan Shabwa, Al Mukalla, Lahj, Taiz, Al Hodaida, Hajjah, Sa’ada, Al Jowf, Amran, Al Baydha and Al Amana.