Heavy rains and flooding push Yemenis to brink

The United Nations

Heavy rains and flooding in Yemen have affected at least 28,000 people, according to initial estimates released by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) on Wednesday.

In its daily noon briefing, OCHA said that humanitarian partners on the ground are conducting assessments and providing assistance, which included food, shelter and healthcare.

Meanwhile, more than half of Yemenis are facing crisis levels of food insecurity, and five million people are just one step away from famine.  

As the value of the Yemeni rial continues to plummet – trading at over 1,000 rials to the dollar in some areas – more and more Yemenis are being pushed to the brink.  

COVID factor

As the coronavirus spreads across the world, no country seems more vulnerable than Yemen, now in its sixth year of war.

Against the backdrop of conflict, dire humanitarian needs and the threat of famine, COVID-19 cases have increased over recent days, with many concerned that the country is entering a third wave.

“So far, just over 310,000 vaccines have been administered – meaning that only one per cent of the population has got their first dose”, the UN body said.

Support needed

While donors have stepped up their support to the aid operation, the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan is currently just 47 per cent funded, meaning that out of the $3.85 billion required, only $1.82 billion has been received.

Amidst OCHA’s warning that “most of this money will run out in September”, the UN humanitarian body stressed that “additional and predictable funding” is urgently needed so that people can continue receiving the lifesaving assistance they need.

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