Advocacy brief: A Water Crisis in the time of COVID-19: Impact of funding shortages on Public Health in Yemen, June, 2020

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• 11.2 million Yemenis are in acute need of Water, sanitation and Hygiene assistance.

• Acute funding shortages are cutting off access to water and soap, essentials of COVID-19 prevention.

• By the End of June, WASH services for 6 million people, including 3 million children could close

• Water supply Major Cities will be forced to completely stop in parts of the country.


• WASH must be embedded as an integral part of public health priority

• Rapid mobilization of financial support is critical to save lives avert a public health catastrophe

• Urgent action is needed to give Yemenis the means to protect themselves from COVID-19

• Water and sanitation systems must be sustained and workers protected

Background – COVID-19 on top of a humanitarian crisis

• 20.4 million Yemenis need humanitarian assistance to access safe water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) provisions. Of those 11.2 million are in acute need, requiring life-saving assistance, especially those affected by disease outbreaks, displaced populations and marginalized groups

• The first confirmed case of COVID-19 occurred in Yemen in April 2020- since then the virus is spreading through the country. Without adequate testing facilities the full scale of the outbreak is unknown but WHO estimates that at least 16 million people will be infected

This briefing paper outlines the urgency at which sustained financial support for WASH programmes is needed to curb the spread of COVID-19 and cholera to avert a public health catastrophe