The humanitarian situation in Yemen faces a “terrible collapse” if the world does not bear its responsibilities as fast as possible, said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abou El-Gheit.
According to an Arab League statement on Monday, the situation in Yemen has deteriorated following the removal of UN programmes and organisations from the country. This includes the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), which announced its intentions to end their activities in the country in the coming weeks due to a lack of funding.
It is also reported that 80% of the Yemeni population now depends on aid to survive, making the country now holds the lugubrious title of the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Yemen now also has to deal with the potential healthcare fallout posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as it battles widespread malaria, dengue, and cholera.
A donors’ pledging conference held early in June, under the auspices of Saudi Arabia and the UN, did not completely succeed in filling the financial gap. The countries that participated at the conference have only provided $637m, less than half of the amount they had pledged to donate before the conference, according to the Arab League.
“Yemen faces these enormous challenges with very little capacity in the health sector, as well as the inaccessibility of clean water and sanitation for millions of people that represent the basics of public health,” read the statement.
The Arab League called upon all organisations, humanitarian bodies and countries that are able to provide urgent assistance to maintain the UN programmes in Yemen, and to avoid a catastrophic scenario.