Yemen's catastrophic cholera crisis

Khulood*, five months old – from Haradh District. Credit: Gabreez
Khulood*, five months old – from Haradh District. Credit: Gabreez

In Yemen, cholera is killing one person every hour. Over half of them are children. 

Since late April 2017, the cholera epidemic has spread to nearly every corner of the war-ravaged country. It is estimated that well over 755,000 people in Yemen are currently affected, and more than 2,100 people have died since the start of the epidemic. 

The cholera crisis comes on top of two years of brutal war which have decimated the health, water and sanitation systems, severely restricted the essential imports the country is dependent upon and left millions of people one step away from famine.

Hind*, 4 years old – From Sa'awan, Sana’a Governorate. Credit: Gabreez

After travelling to Yemen, Duoi Ampilan, Humanitarian Support Personnel with Oxfam commented that: 

As a humanitarian aid worker, I shouldn’t be as affected by the ugly scenes and deteriorating conditions of people… but the news and reports about starving children are real. Death is imminent to many of these young children, especially if this situation extends for more months. Many hospitals have closed. The ones operating are lacking facilities and medicines.

Since the beginning of the outbreak, Oxfam has worked to contain the disease by focusing its response on improving access to safe and clean water and promoting good hygiene practices.

So far, Oxfam has supported more than 430,000 people from four governorates in coordination with other international agencies. We are delivering clean water, filters, jerry cans, building latrines and organizing hygiene awareness programs.

Bandar, 35 years old – From Sana'a Governorate. Credit: Gabreez

Time is of the essence. The monsoon rains have already begun, and we believe they will make the situation even worse. 

Right now, our experts have estimated that there are 5,000 people struck down with cholera each day. 

Read more on Yemen and our response here.


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