Updated on 21 July 2017
The number of people with cholera in Yemen is now the largest ever in any country in a single year since records began, Oxfam said today. At over 360,000 suspected cholera cases in just three months since the outbreak started, it is now already the largest number of cases in a year, topping the previous annual record of 340,311 in Haiti in 2011.
Though there are signs that the increase in numbers is slowing, the country’s rainy season from July to September will increase the risk of the disease spreading further. It is feared that the total number of people infected could eventually rise to over 600,000, making it one of the largest outbreak since records began in 1949.
Almost 2,000 people in Yemen have died from suspected cholera since late April this year and many more are now at risk, weakened by hunger, disease and the ongoing war.
The humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate with fuel shortages, rising food prices and a severe lack of basic services, such as health, water supply and education, making daily survival a painful struggle for millions.
More than 17 million Yemenis were already going hungry every day. Nearly 7 million of these people are starving – they don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Yemen was the poorest country in the Middle East and poverty and inequality was increasing.
• Over 4.5 million people are malnourished, including nearly half a million children who are in a life-threatening condition.
• Nearly 19 million people - 70 per cent of the population - need some sort of humanitarian aid.
• More than 3 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to the bombing and fighting.
• Over 46,000 people have been killed or injured since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015.
• A cholera outbreak has worsened significantly, with 2,000 suspected cases arising each day. There have been over 360,000 confirmed cases and near 2,000 deaths since April 2017.
Sajjad Mohammad Sajid, Oxfam Country Director in Yemen, said: "Ground fighting, shelling and airstrikes by all warring parties have compounded an already severe food crisis and could push Yemen to the edge, with 7.6 million people already severely food insecure.
"People desperately need food and water, medicine and health services, they need aid that can reach them - ultimately they need the conflict to end so they can rebuild their lives. All those fuelling Yemen's tragedy need to stop being arms brokers and start becoming peace brokers. The international community must redouble its efforts to help bring this crisis to a peaceful resolution."
Since July 2015, Oxfam has reached more than one million people in eight governorates of Yemen with water and sanitation services, cash assistance and food vouchers.
- Water, Sanitation and Hygiene: Oxfam has provided clean water and sanitation services for more than 924,000 people, including in hard-to-reach areas of the country, through providing water by truck, repairing water systems, delivering filters and jerry cans, as well as building latrines and organizing cleaning campaigns.
- Livelihood Programmes and Cash Assistance: Oxfam is providing over 205,000 people in Al-Hudaydah, Amran, Hajjah and Taiz governorates with cash to enable families to buy food in the local market or livestock so they get a possible source of income, including 35,000 individuals who took part in our cash for work programs. We are also scaling up social protection programmes.
- In response to the Cholera outbreak: Oxfam has been coordinating with other international agencies, and has already directly supported over 472,000 people, which also indirectly benefitted over 450,000 people in four governorates by delivering clean water to affected communities, delivering filters, jerry cans and building latrines and providing hygiene awareness sessions.
Oxfam has been working in Yemen for 30 years.