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Global Health In the News: A Series (IV) - Yemen

Updated: Sep 2

Headlines: ”Coronavirus thrives in Yemen, already devastated by war and famine” –


“As war and COVID-19 ravage Yemen, $1.35 billion in international aid isn’t nearly enough” – CBS News “Forcibly displaced now account for 1% of humanity – UN report. Almost 80 million people are refugees or internally displaced, with the number doubling in the past decade.” – The Guardian


With the UN secretary-general calling on international donors to fulfil financial pledges to alleviate the suffering of people living in Yemen, reports say that by the end of June, humanitarian organisations will have to cut clean water for nearly 6 million people, 3 million of them children, with many other programs at risk of termination including food and healthcare.

The WHO estimates that over half of Yemen could be infected with the coronavirus, a country where more than half of the hospitals are insufficiently functional, with less than 1,000 ventilators and ICU beds across the country [WHO figures]. On top of this, the global health crisis has resulted in ‘unprecedented decline in the flow of remittances to Yemen,’ with the World Bank estimating that 1 in 10 people in Yemen rely entirely on such money to meet their basic needs. ‘Donors' pledges to Yemen are failing to keep up with the growing need in the country… (Yemen is) already the world's biggest humanitarian crisis after more than five years of conflict.’ [Oxfam Exec Director]

UN conferences saw international donors pledge almost a billion short of the money desperately needed to aid Yemen. Presently, UN funds are running out, putting 48,000 Yemeni women at risk of postnatal mortality. Meanwhile the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels controlling the north of Yemen demand direct access to international donor money. A spike of 9 million people recorded in 2019 means that today, just over one in a hundred people, 1% of the entire world, are displaced. Out of these, the UNHCR reports that only 0.5% of the world’s refugees were resettled in 2019 – 5 refugees for every thousand.

Picture: Middle East Monitor Reference: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2020/jun/18/forcibly-displaced-now-account-for-1-of-humanity-un-report?fbclid=IwAR1dfLCl56LbWl86ONQ1hWcCcBrjIoPGkxR7EVM6VQY7Xu4oD8sSRNGaiDs

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