Seven million people are on the brink of famine, yet the deepening crisis in Yemen is completely avoidable if decision makers re-open ports and stop supplying weapons.
Yemenis, already on the tipping point after more than two years of war, are now being forced to choose between treating cholera and putting food on the table, said Oxfam in a new report.
Massive aid effort and cease-fire needed as rainy season approaches.
The number of people with cholera in Yemen is now the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year, Oxfam said today. At over 350,000 suspected cholera cases in just three months since the outbreak started, it is now already the largest number of cases in a year, topping the previous annual record of 340,311 in Haiti in 2011.
Yemen’s population is at risk of catastrophic hunger as food imports continue to plunge and on current trends the war torn country will effectively run out of things to eat in a few months.
Oxfam and 9 other NGOs implore all parties in the conflict to abide by the terms of the ceasefire and to resume peace negotiations.
In response to the nationwide ceasefire in Syria, Oxfam hopes it will provide a welcome respite for Syrian civilians who have faced unremitting violence and deliberate deprivation of aid. Russia and the USA must make sure their agreement translates to a real and lasting halt to violence in Syria, said the agency.
In response to the proposed 48 hour ceasefire in Aleppo, Andy Baker, Oxfam's Syria Crisis Response manager said: “While the proposed ceasefire is welcome it must not be a one-off. Regular, sustained pauses in the conflict are necessary to deal with the scale of the suffering, devastation and destruction in the city.”
The coalition airstrikes of Hodeidah’s port is yet another example of an attack on a civilian target, which Oxfam utterly condemns, says Oxfam’s Yemen country director, Philippe Clerc.
Humanitarian agencies are calling on the international community to support a lasting solution that could save the lives of millions of civilians in Yemen, as the United Nations prepares to host peace talks on Sunday June 14th in Geneva.
Ongoing airstrikes, ground fighting and fuel shortages mean that an additional 3 million Yemenis are now without drinking water – raising the total number of Yemenis without a clean water supply and sanitation to at least 16 million – almost two-thirds of the population.