On Friday, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) issued a desperate appeal for more support in providing basic services in Yemen.
5 years of fighting between the Yemeni government and the Ansar Allah group had left ⅔ of the population dependent on aid relief.
According to a UN News report, more than eight million Yemini, nearly half of them children will be greatly affected by the lack of funding for UNICEF’s water, sanitation and hygiene, or WASH service. This is amid the ongoing civil war inside the country, cholera outbreaks and COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially, UNICEF appealed for a funding of $479 million for Yemen but the funding is still 40% short. According to them, unless they receive $30 million by the end of June, WASH operations for four million people will have to shut down.
“This means UNICEF will not be able to provide fuel to operate water pumping stations, or de-sludge sewage, or maintain crumbling water and sanitation infrastructure,” said Marixie Mercado, UNICEF spokesperson. She added, “it means we will not be able to distribute basic family hygiene kits that include soap, which is so critical for preventing both cholera and the coronavirus in a context where millions don’t have access to hand washing facilities”.
According to UN News’ report, UNICEF’s COVID19 response is also underfunded.
According to OCHA, UN’s office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs, the cases of COVID19 in Yemen is “alarmingly high” and has a fatality rate of 25%.