UN health agency calls for funding, access to Yemenis as conflict rages for second year

Baku, March 29, AZERTAC

As the conflict in Yemen this week enters its second year, the United Nations health agency is calling for additional funding and access to the more than 80 per cent of the population in urgent need of humanitarian aid, according to UN News Centre.

“Despite our efforts so far, much more needs to be done to respond to the health needs of people in Yemen,” said Dr. Ala Alwan, World Health Organization's (WHO) Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

He voiced concern about the limited funding for the health sector, which so far only received six per cent of its 2016 requirements.

Dr. Alwan also reminded “all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to facilitate humanitarian access to all areas of Yemen, and respect the safety of health workers and health facilities already working under extremely challenging conditions.”

The health situation in Yemen had been challenging before the current conflict, but further deteriorated under the ongoing violence which has forced one-quarter of all health facilities to shut down due to damages or shortages of staff, medicine or other resources.

Some 19 million people lack access to clean water and sanitation, placing them at risk of infectious diseases such as dengue fever, malaria and cholera, WHO cautioned.

In addition, more than 14 million Yemenis are in need of urgent health services, including more than 2 million acutely malnourished children and pregnant or lactating women requiring treatment.

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