UN aid chief says Yemen will fall off the cliff without financial support

UN aid Yemen financial support
MARK LOWCOCK- coronavirus is spreading quickly through Yemen and about 25% of infected people are dying from the virus.

TANZANIA: The UN humanitarian chief stated that without a huge amount of financial support, Yemen will “fall off the cliff”. Currently, there are people starving to death, giving in to COVID-19, dying of cholera and other diseases that children have not been immunized for.

Mark Lowcock told reporters in a meeting on Wednesday that the coronavirus is spreading quickly through Yemen and about 25% of infected people are dying from the virus. This rate is five times higher than the global average.

“With the health system in collapse, we know many cases and deaths are going unrecorded,” he said. “Burial prices in some areas have increased by seven times compared to a few months ago.”

Lowcock said the disease “is adding one more layer of misery upon many others” including “appalling multi-casualty incidents” and the country’s economy, which is “heading for an unprecedented calamity.” He is referring to the dropping currency of Yemen and the more than 10% rise in food prices in only two weeks.Also Read– Libyan Warns Egypt from intervening and backing Khalifa Haftar

An online pledge for Yemen hosted by Saudi Arabia and the UN took place on June 2 and had 31 donors pledged US$1.35 billion for aid and $700 million in new funds, Lowcock said.

“That’s only about half of what was pledged last year,” he said and far less than what is needed to help the country.

“Reduced pledges from the Gulf region account for essentially all of the reduction,” said Lowcock.

“Water and sanitation programs that serve 4 million people will start closing in several weeks,” he said. “About 5 million children will go without routine vaccinations, and by August, we will close down malnutrition programs.”

“We have never before seen in Yemen a situation where such a severe acute domestic economic crisis overlaps with a sharp drop in remittances and major cuts to donor support for humanitarian aid — and this of course is all happening in the middle of a devastating pandemic,” Lowcock said.

He urged people to turn pledges into cash and increase the amount to avoid total economic collapse.

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“There is a stark choice before the world today: support the humanitarian response in Yemen and help to create the space for a sustainable political solution. Or watch Yemen fall off the cliff,” Lowcock said.

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