As Cyclone Chapala hits war-torn Yemen, Oxfam Country Director in the country, Sajjad Mohamed Sajid said:
"It's a humanitarian disaster on top of another. In a year of the Super El Niño, a rare cyclone has left conflict ravaged Yemen facing a double disaster as Cyclone Chapala promises a decade's worth of rain in Yemen in just a few days.
Yemen is already one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. The cyclone comes on top of 7 months of non-stop fighting that has dismantled basic infrastructure, limited the availability of food and other vital supplies, cut off drinking water, destroyed livelihoods and severely damaged people's abilities to cope. Hospitals and schools are damaged by the fighting, and medicines are in short supply, which means that many people have no access to basic medical care or temporary shelter if they need them. Those previously displaced by the fighting are particularly at risk as many are living in make-shift tents and unsafe accommodation that is too vulnerable to withstand the impact of the cyclone.
UN initial reports indicate that 1.1 million people are affected by the cyclone, particularly in Shabwa and Hadramout governorates where there’s substantial flooding. So far 3 deaths are reported, and 40,000 people displaced or evacuated. In addition the UN is reporting that 450 homes are damaged or destroyed.
This should serve as a reminder that the war and the man-made humanitarian crisis in Yemen are unnecessarily putting millions in harm's way, pushing more people daily into extreme poverty and deprivation, and hampering their abilities to cope with hardships. Influential governments like the US & UK should step up pressure on all parties to end the fighting, and redouble efforts to find a peaceful resolution to end the conflict and prolonged suffering of Yemenis.”