Yemen risks sliding into famine and further disease outbreaks unless all the country’s ports are fully reopened, aid agency CARE has warned as the country marks 1,000 days since conflict began.
More than 22 million people in Yemen are in need of humanitarian aid, 7 million people face famine-like conditions and the country is experiencing one of the worst cholera outbreaks on record.
“The situation is appalling,” CARE’s Country Director in Yemen Johan Mooij said. “Today millions of Yemenis are facing multiple crises of war, hunger, disease outbreaks and recent blockades on fuel and commercial imports.”
Mr Mooij said while some land, sea and air ports had recently reopened, the country’s main ports remained closed to commercial imports.
“When supplies get into Yemen, they must be allowed to move quickly and safely to people in need. Authorities in Yemen, including the internationally-recognised government and Houthi forces, must cease all interference that prevents critical supplies reaching crisis-affected people.”
Humanitarian food aid is reaching only a third of Yemen’s population. The remaining 18 million rely on functioning commercial markets, which have been devastated by fuel scarcity and conflict.
“Increased prices and lack of fuel hampers our ability to reach people in need with critical supplies. The blockades need to be lifted completely before more lives are lost,” Mr Mooij said.
“We cannot wait any longer. After 1,000 days of conflict, we call on all parties to use all means to end the misery in Yemen and work towards lasting peace by stopping violence and opening all ports for humanitarian aid and commercial goods,” Mr Mooij said.
CARE is working in nine governorates in the northern and southern parts of Yemen to provide safe drinking water to families and public facilities including hospitals and schools. CARE is also distributing hygiene and cholera kits to stop the spread of diseases, distributing food and providing opportunities for families to restore their livelihoods.
CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities. To donate to CARE’s emergency response go to care.org.au/Yemen