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Yemen: Over 460K cases of cholera registered to date this year

08 Jul 2019

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Al Joumhouri Hospital, Sana's, Yemen: A young cholera patient awaits treatment in the emergency wing. Credit: OCHA/G.Clarke

Recent flash flooding has accelerated the spread of cholera across Yemen, exacerbated by poor maintenance of waste management systems and lack of access to clean water for drinking or irrigation.

As of today, the cholera outbreak has reached over 460,000 suspected cases this year, including approximately 200,000 children. This exceeds the 380,000 total suspected cases in the whole of 2018. So far this year, 705 deaths have been recorded from suspected cholera – versus 75 deaths in the same period last year or nine times more.

This year, the UN and partners are running nearly 1,200 cholera treatment facilities around the country. However, funding remains an urgent issue.

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Poor maintenance of waste management systems and lack of access to clean water for drinking or irrigation are exacerbating the spread of cholera. Credit: OCHA/G.Clarke

After four years of continuous conflict, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is the worst in the world. A higher percentage of people face death, hunger and disease than in any other country.  The degree of suffering is nearly unprecedented.  

Eighty percent of the entire population requires some form of humanitarian assistance and protection, an increase of 84 per cent since the conflict started in 2015. Twenty million Yemenis need help securing food and a staggering 14 million people are in acute humanitarian need.  

The Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan requires $4.2 billion to deliver humanitarian assistance to more than 20 million people this year. As of today, only 32% of those requirements have been met. We urge all donors to promptly pay their pledges – including $2.6 billion in pledges made in Geneva more than four months ago. Funding is urgently needed to enable humanitarian partners to repair and decontaminate water and sanitation systems, expand epidemiological surveillance and treat patients as quickly as possible.