SANA’A (Dec. 19, 2017) – After 1,000 days of conflict in Yemen with no end in sight, the international aid organization CARE is concerned at how the world’s largest humanitarian crisis has unfolded. With almost 1 million cases of cholera, the war-torn country is grappling with the worst outbreak ever recorded. This comes as the country teeters on the brink of famine, suffering from soaring food prices, inflation and fuel shortages.
“For almost three years, the situation in Yemen has been deteriorating despite the efforts of the humanitarian community. The ongoing war has decimated Yemen’s water sanitation systems and hospitals. While the threat of cholera persists, other deadly diseases such as diphtheria are on the rise,” says CARE Yemen’s Country Director, Johan Mooij.
Over 22 million Yemeni are in need of humanitarian assistance, out of which 7 million are facing famine-like conditions. Recent blockades and clashes deepened the already dire catastrophic humanitarian situation.
“The situation is appalling. Today millions of Yemenis are facing multiple crises of war, hunger, disease outbreaks and recent blockades on fuel and commercial imports. Moreover, the inconsistent payment of salaries of public servants has resulted in a severe economic crisis, adding to the harsh living conditions Yemenis are dealing with,” Mooij adds.
While the reopening of land, sea and airports is a small step toward meeting critical needs, Yemen’s main ports are still closed for commercial imports of goods, increasing the risk to slide into famine and disease outbreaks. Humanitarian food aid is reaching only a third of the population. The remaining 18 million rely on functioning commercial markets, debilitated by fuel scarcity and conflict.
“We cannot wait any longer. After 1,000 days of conflict, we call on all parties to the conflict and the international community to use all means to end the misery in Yemen and work towards lasting peace by stopping violence and opening all ports for humanitarian aid and commercial goods,” says Mooij.
CARE works in nine governorates in the northern and southern parts of Yemen to provide safe drinking water to families and public facilities such as hospitals and schools, promote better hygiene and distribute hygiene and cholera kits to stop the spread of diseases. CARE also distributes food and provides livelihood opportunities through projects that improve the country’s damaged infrastructure.
“Increased prices and lack of fuel hampers our ability to reach people in need with critical supplies. The blockades need to be lifted completely before more lives are lost,” Mooij adds. When supplies get into Yemen, they must be allowed to move quickly and safely to people in need. Authorities in Yemen, including the internationally-recognized government and Houthi forces, must cease all interference that prevents critical supplies reaching crisis-affected people.
CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care-international.org.