As Yemen today confirmed its first case of COVID-19, Mercy Corps calls on warring parties to agree to and extend the two-week ceasefire and lift the bureaucratic impediments on lifesaving aid.
Mercy Corps Country Director Steve Claborne says:
“Five years of conflict have obliterated Yemen’s infrastructure, and severely hampered the delivery of humanitarian aid. A widespread outbreak of COVID-19 will be catastrophic for Yemenis already living through the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.
“Only half of Yemen’s health centers are operational, and are already struggling to cope with overwhelming numbers of patients suffering from malnutrition, cholera, dengue fever and injuries of war. As many as 24 million Yemenis rely on humanitarian aid.
“It is critical that all warring parties agree to and extend the two-week ceasefire and lift restrictions on humanitarian access for millions of people in urgent need. Humanitarian organizations must be allowed to move supplies into and throughout the country in order to save lives.
“We’re calling on donors to provide the direct, flexible and long term support that humanitarian organizations need to help communities protect themselves against COVID-19, improve the health system’s ability to respond and protect against further economic collapse.”
Since 2010, Mercy Corps has been working alongside the people of Yemen bringing relief to those affected by conflict and living in poverty. Last year, Mercy Corps reached more than 560,000 people in Yemen with food assistance, clean water and vital aid.