Yemen – Floods, Cholera, Human Rights (DG ECHO, UNICEF, NGO, Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 1 September 2017)

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  • Heavy rains have caused flash floods in Ibb and Taiz governorates on 30 August, leaving at least 18 people dead and dozens unaccounted for. The UN has warned that heavy rains and floods could exacerbate the on-going cholera epidemic.

  • In only four months (May-August), the countrywide cholera outbreak has surpassed half a million suspected cases (585 000) and over 2 000 associated deaths, making it the world's largest-ever single-year cholera outbreak. According to UNICEF (28 August), the spread of diarrhea and cholera is slowing, due to a decline in reported cases countrywide over the last few weeks. However, the fight against cholera is far from over and more infections are expected. 80 districts are still experiencing an increase in suspected cases, and a countrywide upsurge cannot be discarded. The country remains on the brink of famine, with 385 000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, putting them at heightened risk of acute watery diarrhea and cholera.

  • On 29 August, human rights groups issued a letter calling for an independent investigation on Yemen regarding International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights Law (IHRL) violations by parties to the conflict. These include unlawful airstrikes, indiscriminate use of weapons, harassment/arbitrary detention/disappearance of civil society members, use of child soldiers, use of widely banned weapons. The letter comes ahead of the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council (11-29 September) and follows a similar call to the UN Security Council by the UN Humanitarian Coordinator, Stephen O'Brien, to create an independent body to investigate alleged violations of IHL and IHRL violations (18 August).