The problems in Yemen continue to get worse as they face the largest humanitarian crisis and the worst food crisis in the world.
In addition to the largest outbreak in the world, a cholera outbreak that has sickened more than 920,000 and killed about 2,200, the Nov. 6 closure of the Yemen’s airspace, sea and land ports by the Saudi-led coalition (SLC) has worsened the already shrinking space for the lifesaving humanitarian work.
It is blocking the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance to children in desperate need in Yemen. And it is making a catastrophic situation for children far worse.
According to UNICEF, the current stocks of fuel will only last until the end of November.
If fuel stocks are not replenished:
• UNICEF’s ongoing WASH response to respond to the cholera outbreak is likely to be affected. This could impact nearly 6 million people living in cholera high-risk districts.
• The operating water supply systems and waste water treatment plants will stop functioning, causing unimaginable risks.
• The functionality and mobility of the Rapid Response Teams, serving nearly half a million every week, will be hindered.
• Due to shortage of fuel supply, 22 Governorates/District cold rooms/district vaccine stores are at a major risk of being shut down. Vaccines for thousands of children could be damaged.
If vaccines are blocked from reaching Yemen, at least 1 million children under the age of one will be at risk of diseases including polio and measles:
o The current stock of vaccines in the country will last 1 month
o Shortage of medical supplies will only worsen the Diphtheria outbreak recently reported in five districts of Ibb. About 87 suspected cases were reported with nine associated deaths.
With more than 60 per cent of population food insecure, the closure of the Yemen’s airspace, sea and land ports will lead to more deterioration in food security level which will worsen malnutrition rates.
UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement Thursday, “Today, nearly 400,000 children in Yemen are at risk of death from severe acute malnutrition. To potentially add tens of thousands more children to this toll – tens of thousands more personal catastrophes for children and grieving parents – is simply inhuman.
“Children are not responsible for the conflict and carnage created by the adults. But they are the first victims.
“We must ask all the parties: What kind of Yemen do the ultimate victors expect to gain as they destroy it?”
UNICEF calls on all parties to the conflict in Yemen to allow and facilitate safe, sustainable, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to all children and families in need, through land, air and sea.
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