Number of Syrian refugees passes five million mark
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
One year after the High-Level Meeting on Syria sought pledges to resettle 10 per cent of all Syrian refugees by 2018, and to facilitate pathways for 500,000 places, half that number has been secured.
As the number of men, women and children fleeing six years of war in Syria passes the 5 million mark, the international community needs to do more to help them, the UN refugee chief said today.
“We still have a long road to travel in expanding resettlement and the number and range of complementary pathways available for refugees,” said Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“To meet this challenge, we not only need additional places, but also need to accelerate the implementation of existing pledges.”
The remarks come one year after the High-Level Meeting on Syria sought pledges to resettle 10% of all Syrian refugees by 2018. Despite the call during that meeting in Geneva on 30 March 2016 to resettle and facilitate pathways for 500,000 refugees, to date 250,000 places have been made available.
“These generous pledges are a welcome and important symbol of solidarity and responsibility-sharing by the international community. If we are to achieve our goal, we now need to accelerate these efforts in 2017 and beyond,” said High Commissioner Grandi.
With the signing of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants in September 2016, UN Member States committed to increase their efforts to find new homes for all refugees identified by UNHCR as needing protection and solutions in third countries. UNHCR estimates that almost 1.2 million refugees will need resettlement in 2017, among whom 40% are Syrians.
The High Commissioner emphasized that “resettlement is a crucially important tool for protecting refugees. Only the most vulnerable, however, are referred for resettlement. For this reason, UNHCR will continue its work with States to increase the number of resettlement places and the number and range of pathways to protection that complement resettlement. As many States know from first-hand experience, resettlement not only gives refugees the opportunity to re-build their lives, but also enriches the communities that welcome them.”
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Protection of civilians and humanitarian access endangered in CAR
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Central African Republic
New outbreak of violence comes at a time when the fallout from the clashes between September 2016 and February 2017 is still heavily felt. More than 100,000 newly displaced people have been registered.
Bangui, 30 March 2017 – The prefectures of Ouaka, Haute Kotto and Mbomou are prey to a new
outbreak of violence resulting from clashes between the armed groups. Since the beginning of
March 2017, the humanitarian community has identified new waves of displacement with urgent
needs to be met. This new deterioration comes at a time when the consequences of the violence
which studded the Central African Republic between September 2016 and February 2017 are still
heavily felt. In this short period, more than 100,000 newly displaced people have been registered.
The Interim Humanitarian Coordinator for Central African Republic, Dr. Michel Yao, warns the
perpetrators of this renewed violence against the multiple consequences of their actions. “The
humanitarian community is still responding to the urgent and critical needs arising from the
September and November 2016 crises in Kaga Bandoro and Bria in particular. A response
architecture was set up when no funding was provided for this purpose. In this context, the new
violence and exactions against civilians is worrisome as they jeopardize the gains obtained at the
highest price to help those whose vulnerability has been exacerbated. This situation is critical as
the means of protection tend towards their limit” he said.
In this regard, Dr. Michel Yao expressed his great concern about the protection of civilians and
the systematic targeting of vulnerable communities. “This dangerous trend blurs the nature of the
conflict and is highly reprehensible under international law,” he said. He calls on all parties to the
conflict to put the protection of vulnerable civilian populations above all other considerations and
to give priority to political dialogue in order to reduce the suffering of populations affected by the
upsurge of violence.
The Humanitarian Coordinator also reminded the parties to the conflict of their obligations to
protect civilians. It also urges them not to infringe the freedom of movement of humanitarian actors
so that they can help those in need. Michel Yao seized this opportunity to reiterate the principles
of neutrality and impartiality that underpin humanitarian action.
Dr. Michel Yao recalled that with this situation, “the Central African Republic runs the risk of
becoming a chronic crisis ignored and neglected by the rest of the world at a time when the
humanitarian community and the government have decided to pool efforts to mobilize the funds
for life saving activities”. It is worth recalling that at the end of the first quarter of 2017,
humanitarian needs valued at $ 399.5 million collected only 5% of funding.
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Air drops bring food to increasingly desperate South Sudanese
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
Country: South Sudan
Thousands gather every time an airdrop happens, waiting patiently for what is sometimes their first real food in days. But such deliveries are only a short term measure, an attempt to avoid the disaster of famine for a few months.
Air drops: food from the skies, are the last option to deliver supplies to the hungry, but in many parts of South Sudan, such as Maar, in Jonglei Province, they have become the only option. Conflict has made more efficient deliveries by road impossible. The United Nations has already declared a famine in parts of South Sudan, and the ICRC is dropping tonnes of food aid to thousands of displaced civilians, and the communities who are hosting them. Lang Biliu of the South Sudanese Red Cross is on the ground, helping to distribute the supplies. As he explains, even if those driven from their homes by the conflict had money to buy food, they would not, now, be able to find it.
“No food in the market,” he says. “Whenever you get money you go and buy for yourself, it is not there. The only food they get is this food which is dropped.”
Every time an airdrop happens, thousands gather, waiting patiently for what is sometimes their first real food in days. Whole families, from the very young to the very old, have fled their villages, their livestock, and their crops, leaving them with nothing. Nyayiek Gathwech is the mother of 8 children. Now, she is struggling to feed them.
“The only thing we have is wild fruit, and the leaves from the trees,” she says. “We’ve been cooking the leaves and eating them.”
At the same time, the communities hosting the displaced are under strain: there just isn’t enough food to go round. The damage caused by hunger is all too visible. Adults, like Chuol Totjiok, regularly go without, in order to try to make sure children have something to eat.
“We are suffering,” he says. “We have nothing to eat.”
The ICRC began food drops to Maar in March this year, aiming to reach 20,000 people. But such deliveries are only a short term measure, an attempt to avoid the disaster of famine for a few months perhaps. In the long term, as the ICRC’s director of operations Dominik Stihlhart said recently, “Famine is a by-product. The root cause is the presence of long term, intractable conflict. It's the conflict that renders agricultural land unusable, that forces people to flee their homes, and that destroys hospitals and other vital services.”
The ICRC this month appealed for $400 million to help people not just in South Sudan, but in humanitarian crises in Yemen, Somalia, and north-east Nigeria too. The UN estimates that 20 million people are in need of basic, life saving supplies in these four countries. In South Sudan, in Maar and in Mundri, where some road deliveries are still possible, the ICRC is also trying to look ahead to the next planting season, in the hope that, if some measure of peace returns, people can try to rebuild their lives.
“Food can last only one month,” explains ICRC delegate Khurshed Musoyatov. “They still need some support and that’s why in Maar we are not distributing only food but also seeds and tools so they can produce food next season and help restore food production.”
But next season is many hungry days and weeks away. With the help of the ICRC, people in South Sudan can get started on planting, but while they wait, and hope, for the new crops to grow, they will still be looking to the skies for the food to keep them alive.
Download this footage from ICRC Video Newsroom
For further information, please contact:
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UNICEF sends nutrition supplies to dzud-affected households in Mongolia
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Canada, Mongolia
These included nutrition packages for infants and children, and multiple micronutrient supplements for pregnant and lactating women.
Ulaanbaatar, 28 March 2017 – Over 260 000 people are affected by harsh winter condition known as Dzud disaster in Mongolia. Last month the National Emergency Commission reported severe winter conditions in 158 districts (soums) of 17 provinces (aimags) and one district of Ulaanbaatar city.
The Government-led assessment and the several multi-sector needs assessment reports highlighted that affected populations in north-eastern and north-western parts have been impacted by the cold spell in different ways: isolation, difficulty in accessing food and health services, and starvation for their livestock (the source of income).
In response to the Dzud disaster, UNICEF handed over nutrition packages to Ministry of Health for children 6-59 months old and multiple micronutrient supplements for pregnant and lactating women in affected areas.
UNICEF, Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Public Health are working in partnership to ensure that 26,116 boys and girls under 5 and 15,800 pregnant and lactating mothers in 158 soums in 17 provinces affected by Dzud have access to Multiple Micronutrient Powder (MNPs), nutrition screening for the identification of cases of acute malnutrition for referral for lifesaving treatment; and nutrition counselling, with a focus on infant and child feeding and care practices to the parents of children under two years old and pregnant and lactating women.
These interventions, amounting to US$ 339,000 (funded by the Canadian Government) addresses both immediate life-saving and other mid-term needs of the affected children and women. Ministry of Health will complete the first batch of supply distribution by 12 April and the second batch sometime in May.
“In any emergency, women and children are the most vulnerable. Children are especially vulnerable to disease and malnutrition. That’s is why one of UNICEF’s foremost priorities in emergencies is to prevent death and malnutrition amongst affected vulnerable groups: infants, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers” says Roberto Benes, UNICEF Mongolia Representative. “That is why micronutrient supplements are so important in reducing maternal and child morbidity and mortality in dzud affected areas”.
For more information about UNICEF Mongolia and its work visit: www.unicef.mn
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After drought, Zimbabwe contends with fall armyworm invasion
El Niño-induced droughts have left four million people needing food aid. This year, good rains had raised hopes of a decent harvest, but now the fall armyworm is dashing them for many farmers.
It was first detected in Africa barely a year ago, yet the fall armyworm, a type of caterpillar whose name derives from its tendency to maraud in vast numbers, has already infested hundreds of thousands of hectares of maize across more than a dozen countries on the continent, presenting a serious threat to food security.
Read more on IRIN
New law to protect unaccompanied refugee and migrant children
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Italy, World
The Zampa law calls for a series of measures - following lobbying efforts and release of UNICEF’s “Child Alert: A Deadly Journey for Children” – to protect the most vulnerable.
Italian parliament passes law following lobbying efforts and release of UNICEF’s “Child Alert: A Deadly Journey for Children”
ROME, GENEVA, 29 March 2017 - UNICEF welcomes the Italian Parliament for passing a historic law to boost support and protection for the record number of foreign unaccompanied and separated children who arrived in Italy – nearly 26,000 in 2016. With nearly 2,000 foreign children arriving on the Mediterranean in the first two months of 2017, the upward trend in arrivals is expected to continue this year making this law timely and relevant.
“While across Europe we have seen fences going up, children detained and pledges unmet, the Italian parliamentarians have shown their compassion and duty to young refugees and migrants,” said Afshan Khan, UNICEF Regional Director and Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, who on her recent visit to Italy met several newly arrived children. “This new law serves not only to give refugee and migrant children a sense of predictability in their uncertain lives after risking so much to get to Europe - it serves as a model for how other European countries could put in place a legislative framework that supports protection.”
The Italian Parliament passed the new (Zampa) law for “Provision of Protection measures” after two years of intensive advocacy efforts by UNICEF and other child rights organizations in Italy. According to a recent UNICEF report “Child Alert: A Deadly Journey for Children”, refugee and migrant children and women routinely suffer sexual violence, exploitation, abuse and detention at the hands of smugglers on the Central Mediterranean migration route to reach Italy. The report was widely cited in the Italian Parliament.
The Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy has become one of the main routes for children fleeing conflict, persecution and deprivation, as well as one of the longest and most dangerous. Some 92 percent of children on the move into Italy are between 14-17 years old and travelling by themselves.
The Zampa law, as the new measure is known, is the first comprehensive act for unaccompanied children in Italy. It calls for a series of measures - fully aligned with UNICEF recommendations - to protect refugee and migrant children, including:
• Unaccompanied and separated foreign children will not be subjected to “refoulement” or returns that may cause them harm;
• Reduce the time these children spend in first-line reception centres;
• Promote guardianship for children by using trained volunteers from the regional child and youth agency and promote foster care and host families for children;
• Harmonize and improve procedures for age assessment in a child-sensitive manner;
• Establish a structured and streamlined national reception system, with minimum standards in all reception facilities;
• Roll out extensive use of qualified cultural mediators* to communicate and interpret needs of vulnerable adolescents;
The new law includes additional budgetary provisions on top of €600 million which the Government of Italy had already allocated in 2016 to municipalities, groups and caregivers to help them cope with the large influx of refugees and migrants in reception centres.
Note to editors:
UNICEF in Italy aims to support children at every step of the way – at sea and on land. On board Italian coastguard rescue ships, UNICEF, together with partner Intersos, helps identify unaccompanied children and assists them, as well as mothers with children, during rescue operations at sea. UNICEF has set up child-friendly spaces on these rescue ships and helps distribute hygiene kits for girls and women and other resource materials. In Sicily and Calabria UNICEF is working to streamline government’s child protection efforts, and improve conditions in the reception centres that host unaccompanied children, helping to put in place learning, skills training, sport and language activities. UNICEF has so far trained some 200 front line workers and volunteer tutors, to better equip them in protecting children’s rights. In Rome and at the northern border areas, UNICEF mobile teams composed of social workers and cultural mediators refer vulnerable children outside the organized system of reception for special protection. During the first two months of 2017, UNICEF-supported outreach teams identified and assisted 1,602 unaccompanied and separated children at risk.
*Footnote – cultural mediators work as interpreters of cultural needs and practices.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org
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Using mobile technology for humanitarian programming in Syria: potential and limits
Source: Department for International Development
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
For humanitarians and their organisations, internet-capable mobile hardware and abundant applications provide critical communication, monitoring and data collection tools.
1 Executive Summary
Policymakers, humanitarian professionals and scholars have increasingly acknowledged the ‘game changing’ potential of humanitarian technology.1 In Syria, it is a clear feature of humanitarian service delivery. Smartphones, WhatsApp, Facebook and Gmail provide Syrians in country and Syrian refugees with a link to family, news of the conflict and humanitarian support. For humanitarians and their organisations, internet-capable mobile hardware and abundant applications provide critical communication, monitoring and data collection tools.
Mobile technology is likely to remain relevant irrespective of the evolution of the Syrian conflict. Research carried out for this report shows that smartphone ownership, internet access and mobile technology are widespread regardless of what armed group controls a particular area. Communities and business owners adapt and prioritise the rapid establishment of local internet connections, albeit often of poor quality. Internet access is offered for broader community use in most towns via Local Administrative Council (LAC) networks and internet café businesses. Syrians of all ages, outside of remote and rural areas, take advantage of internet access to talk with family and friends through WhatsApp and other communication applications (‘apps’). They are also considerable patrons of social media, particularly Facebook.
Humanitarian organisations use mobile technology first and foremost as a communication tool. Organisations take advantage of the popular communication apps and have developed novel ways to optimise their field work and outreach to communities. For instance, WhatsApp communication networks allow humanitarian providers to rapidly notify registered beneficiaries of services and aid availability, and enable outreach to other potential beneficiary groups. It is clear that there are significant opportunities for mobile technology to continue to enhance humanitarian service delivery. The evidence review and interviews with technology developers have identified important lessons for adopters of mobile technology in Syria, drawn from successful case studies and project failures.
This report presents the findings from a qualitative research study commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) about the current and potential use of mobile technology to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of humanitarian programming in Syria. The research involved two elements:
- A desk-based review of existing evidence of mobile technology use; and
- Findings from 58 interviews conducted in the fourth quarter of 2016, including with 48 Syria-based respondents and ten key informant interviewees outside Syria.
Interviewees in Syria included LAC representatives, non-governmental organisation (NGO) workers, technology providers and community respondents in Syrian Opposition, Kurdish, Government and Daesh-controlled areas. Syria-based respondents were asked about their personal use of mobile technology and how their community typically used it. Among them, respondents who worked for a humanitarian organisation were also asked about their organisation’s experience with mobile technology. As such, the respondent sample was skewed towards mobile technology users so as to explore the scope for further employment of such technology in humanitarian programming. Therefore, statistical data presented in this report cannot be taken as representative of Syrians’ overall mobile technology use.
Handmade dolls bring hidden tales of war-torn Syria to life
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic
In Lebanese camps, women are creating and selling dolls that tell individual refugees' stories; the proceeds go to the people behind the stories back in Syria.
By: Dana Sleiman in Beirut, Lebanon | 29 March 2017
Inside one of the countless low-rise buildings in the Shatila refugee camp, Amina, a 56-year old Syrian refugee, meticulously embroiders fish scales onto cotton fabric.
A thin concrete wall separates her from the hustle and bustle of Lebanon’s decades-old Palestine refugee camp in the southern suburbs of Beirut, which has received a new wave of refugees from Syria since the beginning of the country’s conflict in 2011.
“I am embroidering a fish. It captures the story of a family’s dream to travel,” said Amina. “They have a little girl who is afraid of travelling. Why? Because she is scared she would drown in the sea and be eaten by the fish.’’
In April last year, the Mousalli family – a Lebanese father, Syrian mother, and their daughters Marianne and Melina – decided to bring the stories and dreams of Syrian mothers in war-torn Aleppo closer to the world.
Through a relative who remains in Syria, they collect the stories of ordinary Syrians, then turn them into sketches and have them embroidered onto cotton dolls by Syrian refugee women.
“Each doll holds the name of the person whose story it carries,” explained Marianne, as she held up one of the dolls. “This is Adreyeh. She comes from Aleppo. Her son Hassan dreams about rebuilding his house in his village. So we embroidered his dream house here.’’
Entitled ‘The Ana Collection’ – the word ‘Ana’ means ‘me’ in Arabic – the project seeks to address the hidden pain of Syrians who remain inside a country ravaged by war, through art and self-expression.
“Today most of what we see on TV is focused on the idea of a war in Syria,” explained Marianne. “We often forget that there are people who still live there, and that they have stories to tell. It’s not that people don’t care, but they see a big war, they don’t see individuals.”
The project has brought out two collections – ‘From Inside Aleppo’ and ‘The Holiday Collection,’ in which children from Aleppo expressed their wishes for Christmas. It is currently working on a third, ‘Stories from the Bekaa’, relating stories and dreams from refugees living in the Bekaa Valley in east Lebanon.
“Many people buy these dolls for their children,” said Marianne. “When a child carries a doll named Hamida, his parents tell him ‘Hamida is your age, she wants to return to her house and play with her friends.’ This makes it much easier to relate to.’’
Lebanon is currently host to more than a million registered Syrian refugees, accounting for roughly a fifth of the total population. As a result, the small country has the highest proportion of refugees anywhere in the world.
In addition to shining a light on some of the forgotten victims of the six-year war, the project has helped create a “full circle of empowerment,” says Marianne.
“People know that if they buy the doll Salma, they would be helping the real Salma back in Syria, and that the money they are paying is actually going to her. This touches them.”
The price for a doll ranges from US$25 to US$65, depending on its size. Proceeds are channeled back to the mothers and children behind the stories and in part cover the production costs and the compensation for the 80 women embroiderers in Lebanon.
“The project allows refugees to help other refugees and internally displaced people in Syria. They are keen on that,” Marianne added.
Syrian refugees in Lebanon, like Amina, have also found the project a good way to hone their skills and improve their sense of direction. “This is a good craft,” said Amina. “I taught it to my sister-in-law and niece, they embroider at home now.”
Since the project’s inception, over 1,500 dolls with 48 stories have been sold in countries including Lebanon, Kuwait, France and Australia. The tag on each doll carries a message that Marianne says they work towards every day, in the name of all Syrian mothers: “I protect the dreams of my children.”
Last chance to avert famine in Somalia - NRC
Source: Norwegian Refugee Council
"More than 3,000 people a day are being forced to abandon their homes in search of water and food ... the highest displacement we’ve witnessed since the 2011 famine," says NRC.
The Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) latest data shows that 438,000 people in Somalia have been
displaced since November, by the worst drought the country has experienced in 20 years.
“Over 3,000 people a day are being forced to abandon their homes in search of water and food. This is
the highest displacement we’ve witnessed since the 2011 famine, and it’s spiralling higher each day,”
said NRC’s Country Director in Somalia, Victor Moses. “The indicators are lining up dangerously with
what we saw in the lead up to the 2011 famine.”
NRC’s Protection and Return Monitoring Network, which is supported by UNHCR, has 39 partners
working across Somalia gathering information on the drought. The latest data indicates that two-thirds
of all those displaced have fled from Mudug, Bay, Shabelle and Sool regions. Over half of people
displaced are fleeing to three regions – Banadir, Mudug and Bay. A total of 63,000 people have arrived in Baidoa, Bay Region’s capital, since January. Almost 85,000 people have arrived to Mogadishu since
Families have told us harrowing stories of abandoning their weak cattle, of being forced to leave their
homes to search for food and water. Halima, a young mother with 11 children, told NRC of the
devastation she experienced firsthand in Belethawa, Gedo province: “I lost ten goats. One day they just
started falling and dying. I decided to move away, as I feared that my children would start falling and
The drought is inflaming an already dire humanitarian situation in Somalia. Half the population - over 6
million people - face acute food insecurity. This is 1 million people more than just 6 months ago. Children are now dying of malnutrition, while many more continue to be exposed to severe acute malnutrition if support is delayed.
Where food is available, prices continue to surge. They are expected to spike further in the months
ahead, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. Abdia, a 48-year-old mother from
Dogob village in south-central Somalia told NRC she had resorted to begging for food to survive: “We beg for food, sometimes we take credit from shops. Now I owe some shopkeepers more than US$50. I’ve been borrowing water, rice, sugar and cooking oil.”
To make matters worse, forecasts indicate that below to near average rainfall is expected across most
parts of Somalia between April and June. Cholera is hammering communities too. The drought is forcing people to drink unsafe water. Some 11,000 cases of cholera have been confirmed so far, while 268 people have been confirmed dead this year in areas where aid agencies have access.
“These are clear hallmarks of a catastrophe in the making, with devastating impacts to displaced
families,” said Moses. “Now is our last chance to avert a famine. Donors have been generous and the
money has started to come in. We are in a race against time to turn the situation around.”
NRC is currently on the ground in affected areas. We have reached over 175,000 people hit by the
drought so far this year. We plan to assist over 240,000 people with cash support by mid-April. NRC is
also leading a DFID/IRF-funded drought response consortium of five partners who are collectively
reaching 450,000 people with a combination of food security, water and sanitation support. We are also
coordinating an ECHO-funded cash support alliance to drought-affected Somalis, which will reach some 350,000 people. These two efforts will collectively reach an estimated 800,000 Somalis in the next three months. “I just hope that this will be enough,” said Moses.
Facts about the humanitarian situation in Somalia
An estimated 1.1 million people are internally displaced.
Another 1.2 million people are living as refugees outside the country.
Over 1 million children are forecast to be acutely malnourished this year, including 185,000 who
could die soon if they do not receive urgent medical treatment.
Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the world. Over 73 per cent of the population live
below the poverty line, on less than US$1.25 per day. Life expectancy is just 51 years.
Note to editors:
NRC has spokespeople in Somalia and Kenya available for interview.
Photos and stories of people affected by the drought are available here free to use.
The Norwegian Refugee Council is a humanitarian organisation working in more than 25
countries globally, including Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia and Eritrea. It has been
working in Somalia since 2004. For more information log onto www.nrc.no.
NRC’s Protection and Return Monitoring Network was set up in 2007: http://bit.ly/2mXDab
Media Adviser in Nairobi
Half of all health facilities in Yemen now closed
Source: UN News Service
The transportation of medical personnel, as well as treatment for the injured, has become increasingly difficult. There is also a shortage of medicine and specialized staff.
28 March 2017 – More than 14 million people in Yemen have no access to health services, the United Nations health agency today said, warning that transportation of medical personnel and treatment for the injured is getting increasingly difficult as this week the fighting enters its third year.
At least 7,719 people have been killed and 42,922 injured since 19 March 2015, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) reported, but the actual numbers are believed to be higher.
“More than half of all health facilities are closed or functioning only partially,” Tarik Jasarevic, a WHO spokesperson, told journalists in Geneva.
Mr. Jasarevic, who was in Yemen in February, said that at least 274 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed as a result of the conflict, and some 44 health workers either killed or injured.
He noted also a shortage of medicines and specialized staff, such as surgeons, many of whom have fled the country.
“For more than six months, health facilities in Yemen had received no financial support to cover operational costs and staff salaries,” the spokesperson said.
As a result, health facilities such as the chemo-dialysis centre in Hudaydah, is on the brink of ceasing operations, as there was no more fuel to run the obsolete chemo-dialysis machines, Mr. Jasarevic noted. Without the facility 600 people with kidney failure would likely die.
The long-term impact of the conflict is also having detrimental effects on the country’s food system and infrastructure.
Malnutrition is on the rise with close to half-a-million children suffering from severe acute malnutrition, with one out of every two children under the age of five stunted in their growth.
This is “a 200 per cent increase since 2014 – when that number was at 160,000 – raising the risk of famine,” said Christophe Boulierac, spokesperson for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
UNICEF estimates that every 10 minutes, at least one child dies in Yemen as a result of preventable causes such as malnutrition, diarrhoea or respiratory tract infections.
In addition to malnutrition, children face malaria and dengue fever, both of which have been on the rise in the past two months. An outbreak of cholera has been contained, Mr. Jasarevic said.
WHO, UNICEF and other UN agencies and their partners are providing aid but resources are stretched. For 2017, for example, the health cluster appealed for $322 million.
Pervasive malnutrition, shuttered schools jeopardize Yemen’s future generations
Meanwhile, Humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, denounced a raft of atrocities taking place in Yemen, including reportedly at least 1,540 children killed; 2,450 children injured; and over 1,550 children recruited to fight or to perform military related duties. Moreover, Hundreds of people have been killed in mosques, markets, funeral wakes, schools and hospitals.
“With malnutrition amongst children at an all-time high and at least two million children out of school, the conflict and its consequences is jeopardizing future generations in Yemen,” he said, explaining that more than 11 per cent of Yemen’s entire population has been forced to move from their homes in search of safety and livelihoods. One million of these people have sought to return to their areas of origin only to find destruction and lack of opportunities to re-start their lives.
Stressing that no humanitarian response can meet the increasing needs that the war is causing, Mr. McGoldrick said: “The people of Yemen have suffered long enough […] Only peace can end the suffering and I continue to call on all the parties to return to the negotiating table and to make effective their responsibilities to civilians across Yemen.”