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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Yemen - Libya

23 Jun 2020

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A cargo plane arrives at Sana’a International Airport in Yemen to deliver aid provided by UNICEF as part of the COVID-19 response. Credit: Ibrahim Mohammed fadel Al-Thalaya.

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 23 June 2020

Yemen: COVID-19 update

Between 10 April, when the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Yemen, and 22 June, authorities reported 971 cases, with 258 related deaths.

These numbers are not representative of the true severity of the outbreak, as Yemen’s health system does not have adequate capacity to test all suspected cases. All indications suggest that the virus is spreading rapidly across the country.

The case fatality rate in observed cases is alarmingly high, at around 27 per cent. That is about four times higher than the worldwide average.

Despite restrictions on movement, and although capacities and resources are limited, the UN and other aid agencies continue to ramp up efforts to suppress the transmission of the virus.

More than 227,000 personal protective equipment items and 11,700 oxygen cylinders were provided. About 8,600 m3 of medical supplies in total have already been delivered, with almost 3,600 m3 still in the pipeline.

The UN and partners are working to equip 59 COVID isolation units across Yemen. Of these, 25 are already operational. Set-up of two high-capacity mobile field hospitals with capacity of nearly 100 beds is also under way to supplement the current level of ICU beds (710).

In addition to COVID-19 response, the UN continues to reach 10 million people every month with food and nutrition supplies.

Funding, however, is required to deliver at the scale needed, and to continue existing programmes much longer. Without funding, 19 million people will lose access to health care by August, including pregnant and nursing women and children, and 5 million children will not be vaccinated against killer diseases. Water, sanitation and hygiene services for 8.4 million people, including 3 million children, will stop by the end of June.

The UN urgently calls on donors to fulfil all pledges immediately and to consider increasing support.

Libya: UN and partners respond to increased displacement due to conflict

A further 3,800 people have fled their homes following an intensification of conflict around Tarhuna and Sirt, in Libya. This brings the newly displaced from the area since 4 June to 27,750 people.

The UN and humanitarian partners continue to respond to those affected, reaching more than 18,000 people further displaced in the past two weeks. Some humanitarian aid has reached Sirt and further distributions are being planned to Sirt and to displacement locations that have not yet been reached.

In the west, humanitarian partners have reached more than 4,100 people in Tarhuna with food, and 7,600 displaced people in Bani Waleed and Zawia with food and household items.

For those displaced and staying either in private accommodation or in collective shelters in the east, partners have provided food, hygiene kits and other household items, reaching 6,200 people in Albayda, Benghazi and Ejdabia.

Critical medical supplies and equipment have been provided to hospitals and primary health clinics in seven cities that would cover the needs of at least 280,000 people for three months.

In coordination with health authorities, health partners have redeployed 10 medical specialists to provide screening and follow-up treatment in Ejdabia. Two mobile medical teams are providing out-patient consultations in Benghazi and Ejdabia and another partner is providing health services in collective displacement sites, including psychosocial support.