The Irish Red Cross has committed €25,000 to aid in the fight against a major cholera outbreak in Yemen. The donation follows the deployment of two Irish staff members in 2016 to assist in the response to Yemen’s ongoing war and famine which has left 19 million Yemenis reliant on humanitarian aid. There are 124,000 suspected cases from the current outbreak which has already claimed the lives of 923 people.
One in every 250 Yemenis is suspected to have contracted cholera as heavy rains and uncollected waste accelerate the spread of the disease. The outbreak has added additional suffering to the people of Yemen who are already experiencing extreme food insecurity. Food is no longer available to almost half the population and access to clean, safe water is severely limited.
Yemen’s health care system is near total collapse and lack of fuel and supplies has forced hundreds of hospitals to close. John Roche Irish Red Cross Head of International Relations, says that “The clinics that are open are running dangerously low on medicine, equipment and fuel”. Six hundred healthcare facilities have been forced to close because of the shortages, leaving only 45% of hospitals operational in the whole country and less than 30% of the needed medicine and medical supplies available.
“The urgency of the situation in Yemen cannot be over emphasised. On average, 20 people - women, children, men - die there every day, many from treatable wounds and curable illnesses”, added Mr Roche.
Further donations are urgently needed to help people impacted by the conflict, famine crisis and cholera outbreak. Donation to the Irish Red Cross Yemen Emergency Appeal can be made online at www.redcross.ie/donate or by calling the charity on 1850 50 70 70.