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المفوضية تعبر عن صدمتها وحزنها لوقوع ضحايا بين المدنيين في تعز

19/7/2017

عبرت المفوضية عن صدمتها وحزنها الشديد لما نقلته تقارير يوم أمس عن مقتل وإصابة عدد من النازحين داخلياً في هجوم جوي على منطقة الموزع المحاصرة في محافظة تعز.

وذكرت الأنباء أن الحادث وقع بعد ظهر يوم الثلاثاء، وما زال التحقق من عدد الضحايا المدنيين جارياً، في حين تشير التقارير الأولية إلى مقتل 20 شخصاً على الأقل، من بينهم نساء وأطفال. ويُعتقد أن يكون معظم القتلى ينتمون إلى نفس العائلة. كما أوردت التقارير وقوع إصابات نُقل عدد منها إلى المستشفيات المجاورة لتلقي العلاج.

كما أفادت التقارير بأن الأشخاص الذين قُتلوا في الحادث قد نزحوا إلى الموزع من منطقة المخا المجاورة، التي تقع أيضاً في محافظة تعز وتشهد أعمالاً قتالية مكثفة.

وكدليل على الحالة المعقدة والخطيرة بالنسبة للمدنيين والأشخاص الذين يلتمسون الأمان في اليمن، فإن عدداً كبيراً من النازحين داخلياً في اليمن قد نزحوا داخل محافظاتهم. ويأتي أكثر من نصف مليون شخص، أي 27% من النازحين داخلياً في اليمن، من تعز. ومع ذلك، تستضيف المحافظة أيضاً 15% من النازحين داخلياً في اليمن، أو حوالي 303,672 شخصاً.

هنالك مليونا نازح داخلياً فروا من أماكن أخرى في اليمن منذ بداية الصراع، لكنهم لا يزالون معرضين للخطر نظراً لأن الصراع يؤثر على كافة المحافظات الرئيسية في اليمن.

ويُظهر هذا الحادث الأخير مجدداً الأخطار الشديدة التي يواجهها المدنيون في اليمن، ولا سيما أولئك الذين يحاولون الفرار من العنف، كونهم يتحملون وطأة الصراع.

كما يبيّن الحادث الصعوبات التي تواجه توفير الحماية والمساعدة الإنسانية في اليمن. وعلى الرغم من الظروف الأمنية السائدة، فقد وصلت مساعدات المفوضية إلى النازحين داخلياً في منطقة الموزع.

وقد وجهت المفوضية، بوصفها الوكالة الرائدة في مجال الحماية في إطار الاستجابة الإنسانية المنسقة في اليمن، نداءات متكررة إلى أطراف النزاع لضمان بذلهم قصارى جهدهم في حماية المدنيين والتخفيف من معاناتهم.

هناك حاجة ماسة للتوصل إلى حل سياسي سلمي للصراع في اليمن لإنهاء المعاناة التي يمر بها المدنيون.

UNHCR shocked and saddened by civilian deaths in Taizz, Yemen

19 June 2017 – UNHCR

The UN Refugee Agency, is deeply shocked and saddened at reports of the deaths and injuries of a number of internally displaced persons in an aerial attack on the embattled Mawza district in Yemen’s Taizz governorate.

The incident was reported on Tuesday afternoon and the number of civilian casualties are still being verified with initial reports pointing to at least 20 deaths, including that of women and children. Most of those killed are believed to be from the same family. Injuries have also been reported with a number also taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.

The people killed in the incident were reported to have been displaced to Mawza from nearby Al Mokha district, also in Taizz governorate and which is also experiencing intensified hostilities.

Testament to the complex and grave situation for civilians and those seeking safety in Yemen, a large number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Yemen are displaced within their own governorate. More than half a million people, 27 per cent of Yemen’s IDPs originate from Taizz and yet the governorate is also host to 15 per cent of Yemen’s IDP’s, or some 303,672 individuals.

There are two million internally displaced people in Yemen who have fled elsewhere across Yemen since the beginning of the conflict, but continue to be exposed to danger as the conflict has affected all of Yemen’s mainland governorates.

This latest incident once again demonstrates the extreme dangers facing civilians in Yemen, particularly those attempting to flee violence, as they disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict.

It also illustrates the difficulties in the delivery of humanitarian protection and assistance in Yemen. Amid prevailing security and safety conditions, UNHCR’s assistance for IDPs has reached the Mawza area.

UNHCR, as the lead agency for protection under the coordinated humanitarian response in Yemen, has been appealing to parties to the conflict to ensure their utmost in the protection of civilians and the mitigation of suffering.

A peaceful political solution to resolve the conflict in Yemen is urgently needed to end civilian suffering.

Media Contacts:

Families in despair as cholera outbreak spreads across Yemen

Rajat Madhok

ALHESN, Sana’a, Yemen, 18 July 2017

A whirl of dust and wind sweeps through Alhesn, a village perched atop Sana’a’s highest hill. A young girl and her little brother slowly climb up the steep stony path leading to the village, carrying half-filled jerry cans of water. Nearby, a shepherd herds his cattle through the walled entrance of this hamlet, which is home to 70 families.

There is an eerie silence in the village. Children play with broken toys on debris that was once someone’s home. They run around but their voices are low. Stone and rubble are strewn everywhere, along with plastic bags and garbage.
Two years ago, a massive explosion on an adjoining hill killed many in this village, including children. Within seconds, homes were destroyed and lives shattered. “Rocks flew at us from everywhere, I lost my 11-year-old brother on the spot,” says a young English teacher. The memory of that tragic day is still fresh in the minds of the people of Alhesn.

But now the village is grappling with yet another crisis. This time it is a widespread cholera outbreak, with more than 300,000 people across the country affected by acute watery diarrhoea/suspected cholera. Acute watery diarrhoea can be caused by a bacteria called vibrio cholera or other infections and may result in severe dehydration leading to death unless treated quickly and properly.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Yemen/2017/Alzekri
Children of Hemiar Mohammed. Their mother Fauzia was rushed to the hospital with kidney failure caused by suspected cholera.

 

Across the village, 35-year-old Hemiar Ahmad Mohammed lives in a stone house with his wife Fauzia and their nine children. The youngest is one month old.

Last week, one of his sons was rushed to the hospital with acute watery diarrhoea. Soon after, Fauzia’s life was hanging by a thread.

She was admitted to the intensive care unit at the Al Thawra, one of the few partially functioning hospitals in Sana’a. Her kidneys stopped functioning after a serious attack of suspected cholera.

“I feel like an orphan. I don’t know what to do,” Hemiar said as he gently stroked his youngest child who was wrapped in a blanket. The other children sat by their father’s side, all of them missing their mother.

Hamiar’s story is similar to that of thousands of others as the outbreak spreads rapidly across Yemen. Thousands of cases of acute watery diarrhoea/suspected cholera are being reported every day from all corners of the country. Half of them children. In two-and-a-half months since the upsurge was announced, more than 1,700 people have died.

This health crisis is caused by two years of heavy conflict. Collapsing health, water and sanitation systems have cut off 14.5 million people from regular access to safe water and sanitation, increasing the ability of diseases to spread. At the same time, there is a shortage of doctors and nursing staff to help treat and care for those affected. There are no longer any doctors present in 49 of the country’s 333 districts. Some have fled the country and those who have stayed have not been paid for almost a year.

UNICEF Image
© UNICEF Yemen/2017/Alzekri
Hemiar’s daughter waits for her mother to return home after treatment. Fauzia’s condition improved dramatically and she was recently discharged from the hospital.

 

With collapsing basic services, garbage is strewn on the streets, stagnant water collects in puddles, while people are forced to depend on untreated and often contaminated water sources for their daily needs. When they fall sick, there are fewer hospital to go to.

UNICEF is responding by urgently bringing in medicines and other supplies by air and sea and distributing them across medical facilities in the country. WHO and UNICEF are supporting 626 diarrhoea treatment centres and oral rehydration therapy corners across the nation in the most affected districts, with a plan to further scale up to a total of 1,156 facilities. Patients suffering from acute watery diarrhoea are referred to treatment centres and hospitals for specialized care.

UNICEF is also working to make local environments safer and more hygienic through its sanitation and hygiene programmes. Cholera and other water borne diseases spread faster when sanitation and hygiene systems break down. So far, the children’s agency has reached around four million people with water and sanitation services which include disinfecting water sources, distribution of chlorination tablets at homes and support to the rehabilitation of water supply systems and waste water plants. In addition, UNICEF is supporting some 16,000 community mobilizers, who are going house-to-house to provide families with information about how to protect themselves by cleaning and storing drinking water, good hygiene and hand washing, keeping food safe and on how to handle a sick family member.

Back at Hamiar’s home, the family recently received good news – Fauzia’s condition improved dramatically with treatment, and she has been discharged from the hospital. She is now happily reunited with her children and husband, but as long as the conflict continues, new challenges will always lie ahead.

أمين عام الأمم المتحدة يشجع دور القيادات الدينية في بناء السلام بالشرق الأوسط

نيويورك، 18 يوليو 2017

 قال أمين عام الأمم المتحدة أنطونيو جوتيريش إن الصراعات في الشرق الأوسط لا تزال تغذي التطرف والمغالاة في جميع أنحاء العالم، والذي يشهد حالياً موجة متصاعدة من التمييز والقوالب النمطية عن “الآخر” في أماكن كثيرة، بينما يجري تشويه الأديان من أجل تعميق الاختلافات، وهو ما يتعين التصدي له من قبل الجميع.

وأكد جوتيريش إن السلام المستدام لا يتطلب الإرادة السياسية من جميع الأطراف فحسب، بل يتطلب أيضا الجهود الجماعية للمجتمع الدولي والمجتمع المدني والقادة الدينيين بشكل أساسي، وإن ثمة حاجة إلى توسيع نطاق الحوار ليشمل القادة المحليين والإقليميين والجهات الفاعلة الأخرى التي تملك الصوت والتأثير داخل مجتمعاتها. وأضاف بأنه لهذا السبب تشجعه كثيرا مبادرة السلام الديني التي أُطلقت في مدينة اليكانتي في نوفمبر الماضي.

وقال الأمين العام في ندوة بمقر المنظمة في نيويورك حول دور القيادات الدينية في بناء السلام في الشرق الأوسطإن لدى الأرض المقدسة مكاناً خاصاً في قلوب بلايين البشر في جميع أنحاء العالم وإن الأديان التي تمثلها هذه المنطقة هي فروع لنفس الشجرة الإبراهيمية وإنها فعلت الكثير لإثراء عالمنا وحضارتنا العالمية والإسهام فيها. وأشاد جوتيريش بجهود القيادات الدينية ومنظمي الندوة من أجل الالتقاء حول القيم المشتركة والالتزام المشترك ببناء السلام والتي وصفها بأنها مصدر إلهام وتشجيع كبيرين له.

وقال جوتيريش إننا نعيش في عالم تتواصل فيه صراعات قديمة وتنشب فيه صراعات جديدة، وإن بعض أجزاء منطقة الشرق الأوسط كانت ساحة لإراقة الدماء والمعاناة الشديدة، وأضاف بأنه “مع كل يوم يمر، يزداد الإحباط ويتضاءل الأمل، وتبدو فرص تحقيق الحل السلمي للصراع الإسرائيلي الفلسطيني أكثر بعداً”، وشدد على أن حل الدولتين هو السبيل الوحيد لضمان تحقيق الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين لتطلعاتهم الوطنية والتاريخية والعيش في سلام وأمن وكرامة، وأن “توسيع المستوطنات غير القانونية أو أعمال العنف أو التحريض تقوض هذا الاحتمال”، مؤكداً من جديد على رأيه بأنه لا يوجد سبيل آخر غير هذا الحل.

وقال الأمين العام إن أمام القيادات الدينية المسلمة واليهودية والمسيحية الفرصة لنشر القيم الإنسانية المشتركة للتسامح والتفاهم والرحمة والسلام، حيث أن هذه هي القيم الأساسية التي تتبناها الأديان التوحيدية الثلاثة الممثلة في الندوة، وبوسعها أن تكون حافزاً للسلام.

واختتم جوتيريش كلمته بالإشادة بجهود القيادات الدينية الرامية إلى تعزيز التعايش السلمي بين الفلسطينيين والإسرائيليين، مؤكداً أن مبادرة هذه القيادات تهدي إلى الطريق نحو مستقبل أكثر تفاؤلاً، ونحو مستقبل يتسم بالتسامح والتفاهم المتبادل بوصفه سبيلاً للسلام العادل والدائم.

In Yemen, 7 million people are on the brink of famine, FAO Director-General warns

Graziano da Silva briefs UN Security Council on need to save lives by saving rural livelihoods in Yemen

FAO’s José Graziano da Silva and the WHO’s Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus briefing the UN Security Council.

12 July 2017, Geneva

The scale of the food crisis in conflict-ridden Yemen is staggering with 17 million people – two thirds of the population – severely food insecure and seven million of these on the verge of famine, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva said today in a briefing to the UN Security Council.

In a video link from Geneva, he noted how conflict and violence in Yemen – “the largest humanitarian crisis today” – have disrupted agricultural livelihoods and are intensifying in some of the most food insecure and famine-risk areas.

The latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification conducted in March this year, registered a 20 percent increase in the number of people estimated to be severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 and above). Seven million are in IPC Phase 4 meaning they are a step away from being classified to be in Famine (IPC Phase 5).

In Yemen “crop production last year already fell by 40 percent compared with the pre-conflict average. This year, because of  poor rains the harvest will be even lower,” he said.

The virtual collapse of public health and veterinary services has further heightened the risk of disease and death. In addition, there are risks in the use of poor quality water of irrigation and food preparation.

Livestock disease surveillance and vaccination programmes have come to a halt pushing the risk of disease outbreaks higher. The risk of emerging and endemic zoonoses (animal diseases) exists across the country.

Saving lives by saving livelihoods

The need for long-term political solutions for achieving sustainable peace in Yemen is unquestionable, but there is much we can do now to fight hunger and malnutrition. “We save lives by saving livelihoods,” Graziano da Silva said.

“If we don’t urgently address the needs of rural people – who make up 70 percent of Yemen’s population – we will not have the prospect for a better future.”

Graziano da Silva addressed the UN Security Council together with the World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

FAO’s response

FAO is doing its best to respond to the crisis on many fronts and with limited funding. So far this year, FAO has reached 450 000 people with a mixture of animal health, dairy, animal feed, crop and vegetable production.

In Yemen, at a cost of $220 per family, a crop kit can yield enough food for about three months. A vegetable kit costing $80 per family can yield enough vegetables that families can eat and even sell to their communities all year long.

FAO is working closely with the World Bank, the World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and others to increase food production, maintain and enhance livelihoods, protect public health and conduct the IPC analysis.

ولد الشيخ أحمد: الوضع في اليمن لا يزال حرجا والشعب يعاني من الحرب والجوع وداء الكوليرا

On 12 May 2017 at the Sab’een Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen, a child with severe diarrhoea or cholera receives treatment.
Over 69,559 suspected cases of diarrhea have been reported so far across Yemen with 578 deaths as at 1 June 2017. In the last 24 hours alone, the numbers of suspected cholera cases have gone up from 65,300 to over 69,559 across Yemen. An average of 1100 children suffering from acute watery diarrhea are reporting to health facilities every day for the past two weeks across the war-torn country. In the last four weeks, the disease has claimed at least 578 lives of which nearly 40 per cent are children. The collapse of the water and sanitation system, barely functional hospitals and cash stripped economy means that 27.7 million Yemenis are staring at an unforgiving humanitarian catastrophe. There is a shortage of doctors and nursing staff, many of whom haven’t been paid for months as well as a shortage of medicines and IV fluid. UNICEF has flown in three aircrafts carrying over 41 tons of lifesaving supplies including medicines, oral rehydration salts, diarrhea disease kits, intravenous fluids that will treat over 50,000 patients. Over one million people across the country have been reached by disinfecting water tanker filling stations, chlorinating drinking water, disinfecting groundwater wells, cleaning water storage reservoirs at public and private locations, providing household water treatments and distributing hygiene consumables kits.

2017/7/12

لا يزال الوضع في اليمن حرجا وحدة الصراع تزداد يوما بعد يوم وتضاعف معها مأساوية الوضع الإنساني ومعاناة اليمنيين واليمنيات، وفقا للممثل الخاص للأمين العام في اليمن إسماعيل ولد الشيخ أحمد.

ومن العاصمة عمان، أحاط الممثل الخاص للأمين العام مجلس الأمن صباح اليوم الذي عقد جلسة حول اليمن، تحدث فيها عن الأوضاع المأساوية الإنسانية فضلا عن مرض الكوليرا الذي حصد أكثر من ألف وسبعمائة شخص حتى الآن، وأضاف: “إن الحالة الإنسانية في اليمن مروعة، والشعب يعاني من الحرب والجوع وداء الكوليرا الذي تفشى من جديد في المرحلة الأخيرة. البلاد إذا لا تشهد أزمة طارئة واحدة وإنما تشهد مجموعة أزمات متعددة الوجوه والأبعاد والتي تؤثر على ما يزيد على عشرين مليون شخص وتأثيرها سيبقى طويلا حتى بعد انتهاء الحرب. ثمة أربعة عشر مليون يمني يعانون من انعدام الأمن الغذائي وسبعة عشر مليون هم عرضة للمجاعة. إن داء الكوليرا يتفشى بسرعة ويصيب الأطفال والمسنين والفئات المستضعفة في مناطق مختلفة من اليمن.” وقال الممثل الخاص إن على القيادات السياسية أن تدرك أن استمرار الحرب لن يؤدي إلا إلى مزيد من الخسائر البشرية والمادية ويعطل التوصل إلى حلول ناجعة، مشيرا إلى أن القضية الجنوبية تتطلب حلولا جذرية داعيا اليمنيين إلى التعامل مع هذه القضية عبر الحوار بالطرق السلمية. وقال ولد الشيخ أحمد إنه قد تابع العمل مع أطراف النزاع والتباحث معهم حول المقترحات التي كان قد أطلع المجلس عليها في إحاطته السابقة، وهو في صدد التحضير لدعوة أنصار الله والمؤتمر الشعبي العام للبدء في مناقشة تلك الأفكار في أقرب وقت. وجدد شكره للمجتمع الدولي على دعمه الكامل لمقترحاته، وقال موضحا: “إن المقترحات تتمحور حول منطقة وميناء الحديدة، وتهدف إلى تأمين وصول المواد الأساسية والتجارية عبر الميناء ووضع برنامج عمل لجباية الضرائب والعائدات واستعمالها لدفع الرواتب وتأمين الخدمات الأساسية، بدلا من تمويل الحرب. إن التوصل إلى اتفاق حول الحديدة سيشكل النواة لاتفاق وطني شامل يضمن المباشرة بدفع الرواتب في كل المناطق، مما يخفف من معاناة اليمنيين. ولا شك أن هكذا اتفاق سوف يحتاج إلى آلية واضحة تضمن استعمال الضرائب والعائدات في صنعاء والحديدة وكافة المناطق لدفع الرواتب وتفعيل مؤسسات الدولة في مختلف المحافظات.” ودعا ولد الشيخ أحمد جميع الأطراف إلى العمل من أجل السلام، مؤكدا على أن الحلول موجودة وأن قطار السلام لم يرحل بعد.

Aid agencies in Yemen forced to shift resources from fighting hunger to cholera – UN

In May 2017, at the Sab’een Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen, patients suffering from severe diarrhoea or cholera receive treatment. Photo: UNICEF/ Alzekri

11 July 2017

Unless the international community contributes $200 million to address the cholera outbreak in Yemen, the United Nations humanitarian arm will be forced to “reprogram” more resources tagged for malnutrition in the country already facing famine, a senior official today said.

“This unprecedented cholera epidemic would further weaken the resources, and the resilience that people had had over the last two and a half years of this war,” Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, told journalists in Geneva.

There were now 313,538 suspected cases of cholera and 1,732 deaths, according to figures from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

About 40 per cent of the suspected cases and a quarter of the deaths were among children younger than 15 years old, particularly the malnourished. Older adults, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions were among the greatest risk for death.

“All of this is entirely man-made, as a result of the conflict,” Mr. McGoldrick said by phone from Amman, Jordan.

He noted that two million additional people were added to the humanitarian case load since the start of the year as a result of the cholera outbreak, the looming famine, and the economic collapse.

Humanitarians were not as far ahead as they should be in terms of the cholera response, he noted, mainly due to the fact that they did not have enough resources to expand their operations into areas where health workers were working without pay.

“The actual system is in complete collapse,” he said.

The UN has received only one-third of the $2.1 billion it sought to provide food to the millions people facing famine in Yemen; separately, a $250 million funding appeal on cholera received only $47 million.

“Agencies have had to use resources which they had programmed otherwise, for example for food security or malnutrition,” said Mr. McGoldrick.

UN agency considers “shelving” cholera vaccine in Yemen

Meanwhile, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) is considering not shipping vaccines tagged for Yemen.

“A vaccination way ahead of an outbreak would be useful, but that would imply a huge amount of vaccines, taking into account all the countries where cholera was endemic,” Christian Lindmeier, WHO spokesperson, told journalists.

European Union and UNDP support social protection for community resilience in Yemen

6 July 2017

The European Union (EU) confirms its commitment to Yemen by providing EUR 25 million (nearly USD 27 million) to support the vulnerable Yemeni people affected by the devastating conflict.

The project, to be implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and local communities, will help struggling households to earn income to buy food and other essentials; keep some of the remaining healthcare facilities open and provide more psychosocial support to affected civilians.

The main results under this commitment are expected to:

  • Give 42,000 people much-needed cash in return for helping to rebuild around 45 health facilities, including women, youth and those internally displaced by the conflict. The cash-for-work programme will indirectly benefit around 250,000 people;
  • Invest in solar energy for at least 80 health facilities affected by fuel shortages and electricity cuts; and
  • Mobilize local networks, including teachers, to identify adults and children in conflict-affected areas who need psychosocial support and refer them to adequate treatment

The EU and UNDP will work together across the 21 governorates and one municipality in Yemen, in response to the latest conflict.

For more than two years, UNDP has worked with communities affected by the growing humanitarian crisis, including through projects to increase food production; support small and micro-businesses; train women as community health and nutrition workers and train NGO staff on working in conflict contexts.

UNDP Country Director in Yemen, Auke Lootsma, said Yemen already had high levels of poverty before the conflict, and the crisis had pushed the resilience of Yemenis to the limit and beyond.

“With the much-needed help of the EU, UNDP is complementing the ongoing humanitarian response in Yemen by enrolling the poorest families in cash-for-work activities so they can afford to buy food, water and medicines,” Mr Lootsma said.

“Yemen is among the largest forgotten crises in world, with a looming famine and devastating cholera outbreak.

“With the economy and state institutions collapsing, the population needs all the support they can get.”

Antonia Calvo Puerta, European Union Ambassador for Yemen, said: “The protracted nature of the crisis, and the fact that it is severely affecting the majority of the population, is putting immense pressure on the international community, which is called to ensure a response at scale.

“The European Union is committed to offer relief to the Yemeni population in this protracted difficult situation, with any available diplomatic and financial instruments.”

 

Contact information:

UNDP

Brussels: Ludmila Tiganu, ludmila.tiganu@undp.orgor +32 2 213 82 96

New York: Ann-Marie Wilcock, ann-marie.wilcock@undp.org or +1 917 583 7300

 

European Commission

Elgars Ozolins, elgars.ozolins@ec.europa.eu

Richard Hands, richard.hands@ec.europa.eu

Rising cholera, diarrhoea and malnutrition ‘deadly’ for children in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan, warns UNICEF

Two boys, one 16 years old and the other 12, collect water from a damaged pipe on the outskirts of Juba, South Sudan. The water is pumped from the White Nile River, but is untreated, risking the health of those who consume it. Photo: UNICEF/Hatcher-Moore

4 July 2017

Access, funding and security are urgently needed to ensure humanitarians can reach hundreds of thousands of children suffering from cholera and diarrhoea across Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and Sudan, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said.

On top of these diseases, rising rates of malnutrition in these countries “could be deadly for children,” Christophe Boulierac, a spokesperson for the UN agency, said at a regular news briefing in Geneva.

“Access, funding and security are needed in the four countries so that UNICEF and our partners can reach children with an integrated response that deal simultaneously with both malnutrition and disease prevention treatment,” he added.

According to the UNICEF spokesperson, Yemen is presently the worst cholera outbreak in the world with over 260,000 suspected cases and over 1,600 deaths. Of these, half the suspected cases and a quarter of the deaths are among children.

Furthermore, the situation of South Sudan is equally worrying. The current cholera outbreak in the country, which started in June last year, has for the first time lasted through the entire dry season and there are fears that it could worsen as the new rainy season progresses.

About 6,870 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in South Sudan so far this year, informed Mr. Boulierac, noting that children and teenagers accounted for about 51 per cent of the cases.

On top of this, about 1.1 million are malnourished in the country and almost 290,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition.

In Somalia, there are about 53,000 cases of cholera (three times more than in 2016 and ten times more than in 2015) and some 1.4 million children are feared to be malnourished, 275,000 of them severely malnourished, the UN spokesperson added.

Furthermore, in Sudan, over 20,000 suspected cases of acute water diarrhoea, with over 400 deaths, had been recorded.

“Over 20 per cent of the affected population are children,” he noted.

Response in midst of daunting challenges

In their response, UN agencies, including UNICEF as well as humanitarian partners have stepped up their efforts but face considerable challenges.

In Yemen, UNICEF delivered a total of 36 tons of life saving medical and water purification supplies to Yemen on board chartered aircrafts. However, with limited access and a national health system ravaged by conflict, there are significant challenges reaching those in need.

Similarly, access is a major obstacle in Sudan where the most affected areas lack safe water and proper sanitation. In the country, UNICEF is also in urgent need of some $22 million to provide life-saving interventions to over 100,000 children.

As part of its programmes, UNICEF along with partners is providing therapeutic and life-saving food treatment to severely malnourished children South Sudan (200,000), Somalia (200,000) and Yemen (320,000). The UN agency is also restoring and equipping health facilities, developing medical and nutritional supply pipelines and providing clean and safe water to vulnerable children and families.

400 tons of life-saving health supplies arrive in Yemen

2 July 2017

Twenty ambulances, 100 cholera kits, hospital equipment and 128 000 bags of intravenous fluids – these are just some of the supplies which arrived in Hodeida, Yemen, Friday, as part of a 403-ton shipment sent by the World Health Organization (WHO). An additional 10 ambulances were delivered through the Port of Aden 3 weeks ago with 10 more due to arrive in coming weeks.

“We needed a special kind of ship to carry the ambulances and luckily we found one in the region,” explained Dr Nevio Zagaria, WHO Representative in Yemen. “It was absolutely enormous. But so are the needs in Yemen right now. So we loaded as many supplies as possible onto it, including some therapeutic feeding items that our sister agency UNICEF will use for children suffering from malnutrition.”

WHO Yemen/M. OltarzewskaWHO Yemen/M. OltarzewskaGetting medical supplies to vulnerable people across Yemen is no easy task, with active conflict, damaged port infrastructure and logistical difficulties impeding access. The flow of medicines into the country has dried up by more than 70%.

“People are dying in Yemen right now because they cannot access health care,” continued Dr Zagaria. “The most visible example of the health system’s inability to respond to the needs of the population is the ongoing cholera outbreak, which has resulted in the deaths of 1500 Yemenis in just over 2 months. But people are also dying of things like childhood pneumonia, malaria, complications around childbirth, high blood pressure and diabetes because they cannot access treatment. The medicines and equipment delivered today will save lives.”

The delivery of these life-saving health supplies is thanks to support from the Emirates Red Crescent, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and the World Bank.