Yemen cholera toll nears 1 000

2017-06-15 19:49
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Amman - A senior UN official said on Thursday that the death toll from a cholera outbreak was approaching 1 000 in Yemen, a war-devastated and impoverished country where "humanity is losing out to politics", a senior UN official said on Thursday.

The UN humanitarian co-ordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said: "Time is running out to save people who are being killed or being starved and now you have cholera as well adding to that complication.

Cholera outbreak

"We're struggling because of the lack of resources. We need some action immediately," he said at a media briefing in the Jordanian capital.

McGoldrick gave updated figures of more than 130 000 suspected cases of cholera and over 970 deaths, with women and children accounting for half of the numbers.

"What is heartbreaking in Yemen is that humanity is losing out to the politics," said McGoldrick.

He said a $2.1bn humanitarian response plan for Yemen for 2017 had only been 29% funded.

The cholera outbreak on top of famine in Yemen was "an indication to how things are falling apart with only 50% of health services" operational.

Refugee agency

"We need resources, we need money and we need them now to address the famine and to address the problems of cholera".

Donors in April pledged close to $1.1bn in aid to Yemen, which the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs calls the "largest humanitarian crisis in the world".

But only 25% of aid pledged to the UN refugee agency has been delivered so far, UNHCR's Yemen spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said on Wednesday.

Yemen's war has seen more than 8 000 people killed and millions displaced since a Saudi-led Arab coalition intervened in March 2015 to support the government against Shi'ite Huthi rebels allied with Iran.

Read more on:    unhcr  |  cholera outbreak  |  yemen

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