Final batch of essential aid arrives in Yemen through joint humanitarian efforts
Amid concerns over collapsing international aid to Yemen, the final batch of shipment containing essential medical supplies arrived in the country on Friday with the support of joint humanitarian efforts. The initiative has been taken by the joint cooperative efforts of the United Nations and multinational corporations to aid war-devastated Yemen in its battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. The 43-ton aid is managed by the World Food Programme (WFP)
As per media reports, the aid shipped by cargo flights contained more than 40 tons of medical supplies, PPE kits, ventilators, COVID-19 testing kits, and PCR machines to help the country’s healthcare professionals
Prior to this, two more shipments of medical supplies supported by the joint initiative were sent to Yemen’s capital Sanaa and its southern city of Aden on Wednesday and Thursday. Each of them contained more than 14 tons of medical supplies, testing kits, ventilators, and PPE. With the help of the current medical supply, Yemeni medical professionals will be able to test around 50,000 people per week.
A Yemeni conglomerate Hayel Saeed Anam Foundation assisted the creation of the International Initiative on COVID-19 in Yemen (IICY) through which the UN, international institutions, and multinational companies from both public and private sectors including Unilever and Tetra Pak partnered to provide much-needed aid to crisis-stricken Yemen as the Coronavirus further paralyzes the healthcare system in the country.
At the same time, the UNICEF sent a batch of 10,000 COVID-19 tests to Sanaa in a chartered plane on Friday, amid the rapid rise in cases in the country. Furthermore, an additional shipment of 8,000 tests will be arriving in Aden in the coming days.
Yemen reported its first COVID-19 infected case in April, following which the transmission surged exhausting the healthcare facilities in the country. Yemen has been labeled as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis by the UN with millions of people in need of aid. Amid a prolonging war between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, Yemeni populations are under threat from the Coronavirus pandemic. Lack of basic facilities such as water and food and devastated healthcare system has put millions of children in danger.
With surging Coronavirus transmission, testing still remains limited in the country due to lack of medical supplies. As per reports, just 31 tests per 1 million people are being conducted by the country which is among the world’s lowest figures.
Almost 70% of UN programs in Yemen are being forced to shut down due to shortage of funds from aid agencies. World Food Programme had to reduce its supply of ration and UN-funded healthcare services to Yemen hospitals were also cut short even as the crisis-stricken country continue to fight the pandemic. It has been further reported that, among several reasons, Yemen’s Houthi rebels have been obstructing the supply of aid and funds to the administration.
While almost $1.35 billion were pledged by international donors to Yemen during a recent virtual conference led by the UN and Saudi Arabia, it fell almost half short of the $2.41 billion target that was needed to aid the country’s struggle against socio-economic ramifications of the global health crisis.