January 22, 2018
The United Nations is calling for what it refers to as a record $2.96 billion aid for war-ravaged Yemen where Saudi airstrikes, looming famine, and cholera have claimed the lives of thousands of people.
According to a statement released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Sunday, the aid will be used to respond to the crisis in Yemen.
Currently, 1.3-million people “urgently require assistance to survive…a generation of children is growing up in suffering and deprivation,” added the OCHA.
“Nearly two-million children are out of school, 1.8-million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, including 400 000 who suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are 10 times more likely to die if they do not receive medical treatment,” it said.
Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick noted that Humanitarian assistance would not solve the crisis in the country, but it would be a lifeline for millions of people.
“Today, humanitarian partners appeal to the international community to support this critical lifeline,” he added.
Last week, the UN announced that the number of the Yemenis who are dependent on assistance has risen to 22.2 million.
More than 13,600 people have been killed since the onset of the Saudi-led war on Yemen in 2015. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and factories, has been reduced to rubble in military strikes.
The Saudi-led war has also triggered a deadly cholera epidemic across Yemen.
According to the World Health Organization’s latest count, the cholera outbreak has killed 2,167 people since the end of April and is suspected to have infected more than one million people.
Yemeni diphtheria toll to rise
The non-governmental charity organization Save the Children has warned that the number of deaths of Yemeni children over diphtheria will increase if the Saudi blockade on the country continues.
While stressing that Yemeni children are bearing the brunt of what it referred to as the “the worst diphtheria outbreak for a generation”, the group noted that at least 52 people, mostly children under 15, have been killed by the disease.
“Any tightening of the blockade could have a devastating impact on children,” said the group.