Yemen Faces world’s largest humanitarian crisis and largest cholera outbreak
Yemen currently holds a double grim world record: the largest humanitarian crisis (20.7 million Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance, 17 million severely food insecure, at least 462 000 severely malnourished children) and the largest cholera outbreak (with over 320 000 suspected cases since April 27).
The cholera outbreak continues to spread rapidly in Yemen, and is now affecting all 22 governorates (309 out of 333 districts). As of July 12, 320 199 suspected cases and 1 742 associated deaths are reported; 7 000 new suspected cases are reported daily (UN, WHO).
According to the health cluster, a total of 3 000 treatment center beds are reportedly in place (60% of target), and 700 oral rehydration corners are operational (24% of target). WASH interventions are a key priority to curve the evolution of the outbreak.
Public services in Yemen are near collapse after over two years of conflict and the magnitude of the outbreak is beyond the capacity of humanitarian actors. Funding requirements have been revised to $ 254 m (showing a current funding gap of $204 m) (UN).
The food security crisis is further compounded by the current cholera outbreak. Out of 17 million food insecure Yemenis, only 46% of the targeted 8 million are reached for monthly emergency food assistance (EFA) since January 2017, leaving more than half of the targeted most vulnerable households without access to food assistance (Food security cluster). With the deepening economic and financial crisis, economic access to food is the main challenge faced by the population in all governorates. Acute food insecurity is expected to deteriorate further, if no immediate scale up of emergency food and livelihood assistance programs takes place (FAO, food security cluster).
At the UN Security Council (July 12), senior UN officials, Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and UNSG Special Envoy to Yemen have warned of the appalling humanitarian situation in Yemen and called for urgent action to end the conflict, ECHO reported on July 14.