Yemen has been in conflict since early 2015. Considered the poorest and least developed country in the Middle East and North Africa for years, the country is now facing the worst humanitarian crisis the world has known. The fighting has devastated its economy; Resulting in food insecurity on the verge of famine, and destroying vital infrastructure, the United Nations has estimated that 24.3 million people in 2020 were “at risk” of hunger and disease, of whom about 14.4 million are in dire need of assistance.
With the health system collapsing and disease outbreaks in need of monitoring, WHO and the World Bank in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health and Population have established 333 district rapid response teams to verify and initiate response to outbreaks and public health emergencies in Yemen.
About 20.5 million Yemenis live without safe water and sanitation, and 19.9 million people without adequate health care. As a result, over the past few years, Yemen has been suffering from mass outbreaks of preventable diseases such as cholera, diphtheria, measles, and dengue, and currency devaluations in 2018 and 2019 created permanent inflationary pressure on the Yemeni riyal, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.
The disruption of infrastructure and financial services has severely affected private sector activity, and it is estimated that more than 40% of Yemeni households find it difficult to purchase even the minimum amount of food, and may also have lost their primary source of income, and poverty is worsening. : While before the crisis it affected nearly half of Yemen’s total population of around 29 million, it now affects an estimated three quarters of the population – 71% to 78% of Yemenis, with women being more affected than men.
- The attached photo is from the World Health Organization’s Facebook page