A displaced Yemeni teenager sits by food aid items distributed by employees of the World Food Program (WFP) amid the new coronavirus outbreak, in Sanaía on April 18, 2020. (Photo by AFP)
The United Nations said ahead of a pledging conference for Yemen on Tuesday that 30 of 41 major aid programs in the war-torn country would close in the next few weeks without funding.
Of some 20 million Yemenis who are food insecure, nearly 10 million are acutely food insecure.
More than 3.6 million Yemenis have been displaced by conflict. Disease is rife and the United Nations says the health system has effectively collapsed.
Program reductions had already started in some areas, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Lise Grande, told Reuters:
- The World Food Program, which feeds more than 12 million Yemenis a month, in April halved rations in northern areas. It needs funding for existing operations and to ramp back up operations in the north.
- One week before the first COVID-19 case was announced in Yemen on April 10, the World Health Organisation was forced to suspend payments to 10,000 health workers.
- Programs for pregnant and lactating women are being shut in 140 healthcare facilities.
- Immunization programs are being suspended.
- Fifty-one primary healthcare clinics have closed.
Depending on the amount of money raised, Grande said more cuts or closures could follow:
- Basic health services provided at 189 hospitals and 200 primary healthcare units could be lost.
- Some 6.5 million people including those in areas with cholera could lose water and sanitation services.
- Nutrition programs for 2 million malnourished children would have to be shut.