Home / World News / Cholera cases in Yemen reach 1 million as war continues

Cholera cases in Yemen reach 1 million as war continues

The Red Cross has said the number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has reached one million since an outbreak that began in April.

The country is suffering the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN.

It is in a proxy war fought between Houthi armed movement, allied with Iran, and a military coalition headed by Saudi Arabia and backed by the US.

The war, which began in March 2015, killed more than 10,000 people, displaced 3 million – and has been fuelling the cholera outbreak.

“Yemen suspected cholera cases has reached the threshold of one million, amplifying the suffering of the country caught up in a brutal war,” the International Committee of the Red said on its Yemen Twitter account.

The Red Cross also said that more than 80% of Yemen’s population lacks food, fuel, clean water and access to medical care.

The World Health Organisation tweeted the cholera figure was 998,315 suspected cases – and “rapidly approaching 1 million”.

On 3 December, WHO said another wave of cholera could strike within months after the Saudi-led coalition closed air, land and sea access, cutting off fuel for hospitals and water pumps and aid supplies for starving children.

The ports were closed in retaliation for a missile fired from Yemen by the Houthis.

On Wednesday, despite a fresh missile attack on Riyadh, Saudi Arabia said it would allow the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah, vital for aid, to stay open for a month.

:: Missile attack escalates tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran

Millions of children are at greater risk from cholera due to malnutrition
Millions of children are at greater risk from cholera due to malnutrition

The UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen said: “Every day more and more people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance but we are less able to help them because of restrictions put forward by all parties to the conflict.”

The UN put the figure of suspected cholera cases at 994,751 until 17 December. It said the number of cases has declined for 14 consecutive weeks.

Marc Poncin, the emergency coordinator for Doctors Without Borders, said: “The vibrio is a very resistant bacteria that can survive in water for a very long period of time.”

YEMEN-SECURITY/AIRSTRIKERTX3DFFQ26 Aug. 2017Sanaa, YemenButhaina Muhammad Mansour, believed to be four or five, sits on a bed at a hospital after she survived a Saudi-led air strike that killed eight of her family members in Sanaa. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah

Why is the world ignoring Yemen?

“As soon as there is a favourable situation for its increase then it’s there.”

Ongoing violence across Yemen has left more than 22 million people in need of humanitarian aid and protection. Some 14 million people – over half of them children – do not have access to clean water and sanitation.

:: Yemen cholera outbreak now ‘worst in the world’

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Yemen crisis: Timeline

The Disasters Emergency Committee released their appeal in February, with £27m been raised.

The total UK aid given to Yemen is £205m for 2017/18, according to the International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt.

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