According to data from the World Health Organisation (WHO), almost 1,500 people have already died in the cholera epidemic that’s currently sweeping Yemen. 40% of the deceased were children.
Conservative estimates show that over 240,000 people are believed to have contracted the disease. Without clean water, sanitary living conditions and proper medical attention, it’s unlikely that these civilians will survive. Babies, small children and the elderly are believed to be particularly at risk.
In Yemen, 14.5 million people currently don’t have access to clean water or sanitation facilities. Diseases like cholera are transmitted through ingesting contaminated water and food. With uncollected rubbish spilling into the streets and a lack of proper toilet facilities, millions of civilians are at risk of contracting cholera and dysentery through drinking dirty water and eating unclean food.
More than two years on from the beginning of a brutal civil war, Yemen’s economy lies in tatters. The country’s infrastructure has been severely damaged, with public services barely functioning. As the poorest country in the Middle East even before the conflict began, Yemen had hardly any economic safety net to fall back on when the fighting broke out.
UNOCHA estimates that 14.8 million people lack access to basic healthcare, including 8.8 million people who are living in areas with a severe shortage of services. Basic medical and emergency room supplies are scarce. Fewer than 45% of Yemen’s hospitals are currently functioning, and those still operational are heavily overcrowded.
In some hospitals, 4 patients are sharing a single bed. Children lie dying on stretchers in corridors and patients receive intravenous drips while sitting in their cars. There simply aren’t enough beds or resources to cater for seriously ill patients.
The UN has previously warned that without immediate intervention, the population of Yemen face starvation. Around 4.5 million children and pregnant or lactating women are acutely malnourished. Their bodies are shutting down due to lack of nutrients. Without aid, they will die. In four governorates, Taizz, Abyan, Al Hudaydah and Hadramaut, the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rates have reached above 15%, which is the global emergency threshold.
In Yemen, a children under the age of 5 dies every 10 minutes from preventable causes. At Human Appeal, we believe that every child should have the opportunity to grow up, free from poverty. We’re on the ground in Yemen, providing essential aid to some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
However, we can only continue this work with your support. Just £65 will provide a family with an emergency parcel containing clean water, food and basic medical supplies. This could mean the difference between life and death for a family who has lost everything in this terrible conflict.
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