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Yemen is facing one of the largest cholera outbreaks in recent recorded history. All We Can has extended its work in the country to meet the needs of people not only facing the threat of starvation but the risk of contracting this deadly disease too.
Yemen facing largest cholera outbreak anywhere in the world
The number of people with cholera in Yemen is now the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year since records began. Last week, in a joint statement between the World Health Organisation and Unicef, the United Nations warned that suspected cholera cases in Yemen could exceed 600,000 by the end of 2017.
Life for thousands in Yemen is a desperate struggle for survival, with cholera, malnutrition and violence affecting nearly every state in the country. Yemen’s health systems are collapsing. Water, sanitation and access to food is precarious.
Cholera is a deadly disease in Yemen’s fragile context – The acute diarrhoeal infection is caused by the ingestion of contaminated food or water and is particularly dangerous for the old, young and those already suffering from malnutrition. Sickness, diarrhoea and painful stomach cramps can quickly lead to dehydration and death, those with weakened immune systems are at a far higher risk of dying.
“The Cholera outbreak is making a bad situation for children dramatically worse. Many of the children who have died from the disease were also acutely malnourished,” said Dr M Relano, Unicef’s representative in Yemen.
It is now estimated that 18.8 million of Yemen’s 28 million people need humanitarian assistance and over seven million are on the brink of famine.
All We Can call for more support
All We Can has been helping communities in Yemen since February 2017 when, with the World Church Relationships Team of the Methodist Church in Britain, an appeal was launched to support countries affected by the threat of famine. As a result of generous giving to its East Africa Famine Appeal over 2000 very vulnerable people in Yemen are benefitting from the distribution of food baskets containing wheat flour, oil, teff flour, rice, beans, sugar and salt. Tens of thousands more across East Africa in countries including Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda and Burundi are also receiving food aid, nutritional treatment and healthcare.
The recent escalation in cholera cases in Yemen is alarming. All We Can has received over £450,000 to its East Africa Famine Appeal and it is actively working with its emergency relief partner in Yemen to determine how some of the latest funding received from supporters can be used to respond to the cholera outbreak. However, the scale of the need in the country is enormous, and to reach more vulnerable people in Yemen, All We Can is asking its supporters to consider making further donations to the appeal.
The situation in Yemen is dire. Jason Snuggs, All We Can’s Humanitarian Aid Manager, warns, “The country is struggling to contain the disease, in addition to the burden of widespread food insecurity and a weak health system, this increased risk of disease is putting many more lives in jeopardy. We need to continue to do all we can to respond to the needs in Yemen and other countries in the region facing the threat of famine”.
The Methodist Church in Britain is urging people to continue to respond quickly, generously and collectively to this catastrophic situation by further supporting this urgent appeal being managed by All We Can.Give now
Laura works for All We Can as the Communications Manager. She is also an internationally acclaimed photographer with a passion for women's rights. She is studying MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies in her spare time and lives with her husband Stephen in Essex.