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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Yemen

02 Jul 2020

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Food distribution for 1,000 families as part of a project implemented by MFD, Qatabah District, Aldhalea Governorate, Yemen, 13 April 2020. Credit: MFD/Elyas Alwazir

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 2 July 2020

Yemen: Response to COVID-19

Between 10 April, when the first case of the coronavirus was confirmed in Yemen, and 1 July, authorities have announced 1,122 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 303 deaths.

The fatality rate is alarmingly high, at around 25 per cent – that is five times the global average. Official data are lagging behind actual infections due to shortages of testing supplies and other challenges. The disease is clearly spreading across the country.

Although resources are limited, aid agencies have scaled up the COVID-19 response. More than 12,000 metric tons of medical equipment, testing kits and medicine were procured, with 8,616 metric tons of these already arrived in the country. An additional 43 metric tons of medical supplies arrived in June.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has equipped and added 21 ICUs to the existing 38 ICUs in COVID-19-designated hospitals since the beginning of May.

Humanitarian partners are deploying two high-capacity mobile field hospitals with nearly 100 beds and providing salaries to 9,000 front-line health-care workers.

Aid agencies are also responding to other deadly diseases, including cholera, diphtheria, dengue and malaria; and providing nutrition treatment to pregnant women and malnourished children.

On 2 June, at the High-Level Pledging Conference for Yemen, international donors announced pledges of a combined US$1.35 billion of the $2.41 billion needed to cover essential humanitarian activities between June and December, leaving a gap of more than $1 billion. With only $558 million provided so far, the aid operation is on the brink of collapse unless donors fulfil their pledges immediately. 

Aid agencies reached only 9.5 million people with life-saving aid in April, down from 13.7 million in March and 15.6 million in December 2019, mainly due to funding shortages.

Critical water and sanitation services needed to suppress the spread of the virus and other deadly diseases will come to a halt for 8.4 million people, including 3 million children, and will close in the coming weeks if new funds are not provided immediately.

For the COVID-19 response specifically, aid agencies require $180 million, with $49.1 million already received.