Yemen Under Threat Of Disappearance In Corona Virus Times
According to Jean-Nicolas Beuze, the United Nations Refugee Agency representative in Yemen “
With one oxygen cylinder for 2.5 million people, the country is extremely ill equipped to handle the corona virus pandemic spread. In the last few weeks, number of cases of infection has risen dramatically. Civilians are now being refused entry into hospitals in major cities like Sana’a.
Constant conflict of over five years has lead to half of the health facilities being destroyed. There is dearth of nutritious food. Most of the Yemeni population has been depending on humanitarian aid coming through various human rights organizations and UN led food programmes.Coupled with this are problems of loss of medical infrastructure at the hands of repeated aerial bombing incidents.
People are vulnerable to contracting the corona virus led Covid-19 disease as much as they have been dying from many other diseases like dengue, malaria and cholera.
Official statistics show that more than 24 million Yemenis that accounts for literally 80% of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance. Off late, America has been wishing to pull the plug on its funding. It has been requested by the UN aided agencies like many other nations to continue to supply the humanitarian aid for the sake of betterment of Yemenis.
Beuze spoke to various media and said, “All the humanitarian partners here… are missing critical funding. The UNHCR will be closing, in a few days, a number of lifeline programmes. So we will be leaving 3.6 million internally displaced and 280,000 refugees without any form of assistance. It’s a life and death situation for them.”
There is hardly any equipment even to read the temperature of the civilians leave alone treat them for symptomatic occurrences. In the past week alone, in Sana’a itself, about 500 people have died with corona-like symptoms according to the city registrar. The real reason for the deaths remains unknown. People are calling it a plague like situation. They are not educated about the corona virus and are now also informed that their aid will stop.