Floods, war and disease ravage Yemen

Floods, war and disease ravage Yemen
Floods, war and disease ravage Yemen

The poorest country in the Arab world is suffering from severe flooding and an outbreak of cholera. Also, soon a massive outbreak of coronavirus is possible here.

The country's authorities said that the flooding caused by heavy rains claimed the lives of three children. They are all members of the same family trying to hide from the storm. More than 100 people were injured, all of them were evacuated to camps located in the central province of Marib.

The humanitarian crisis in the world can exacerbate the situation. Roughly 80% of Yemen's population depends on food aid, and hundreds of thousands suffer from diphtheria, dengue and cholera.

Cholera has been raging in Yemen since the end of 2016, caused by the consumption of contaminated water or food. The charity Oxfam, based in Nairobi, predicts more than a million cases of infectious diseases could be reported in the country in 2020.

The country's health infrastructure has been depleted after more than five years of civil war between Houthi insurgents and an internationally recognized government backed by Saudi Arabia.

The flooding comes as Yemeni's warring parties accuse each other of violating the 14-day ceasefire announced last week by Saudi Arabia, which leads an anti-Houthi military coalition. Locals said the Saudi-led coalition launched six airstrikes Thursday on Yemen's capital, Sanaa.

A few days after the announcement of the ceasefire, Yemen reported its first confirmed case of COVID-19. The patient was a 60-year-old male from the Hadramavt oil-producing region. The internationally recognized government announced this last Friday.

“Yemen cannot afford to face two fronts at the same time: war and pandemic,” said UN Special Representative for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, at a briefing at the Security Council.

“We can do no less than stop this war and turn our full attention to this new threat,” he said.

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