Written By: Nasser Arrabyee
Article Date: May 24, 2012 - 4:42:27 PM
Yemen urgently needs about USD500million in humanitarian aid according to recent UNICEF assessments. The international organization that cares mainly for children, UNICEF, needs USD 49 million of the 500 million to deliver life-saving interventions to combat severe acute malnutrition, as well as address disease outbreaks, including the alarming outbreak of measles and acute water diarrhoea in several parts of the country. Only 30 per cent of the amount has been secured so far.
This is a new phase for the country and therefore a new opportunity to tackle the grave humanitarian situation and chronic underdevelopment in the country. The civil unrest over the past year has worsened an already grave humanitarian situation for children.
It has led to greater suffering from malnutrition and a dangerous drop in the rates of vaccination. Since the beginning of the outbreak, 170 children had died from measles with 4,500 reported cases.
Measles killed 155 children in the first two months of 2012 alone, and could claim up to 5,000 lives if left unchecked.
Outbreaks (measles and Dengue) and malnutrition among children under 5 are partly attributed to diarrheal diseases due to unsafe water, and inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene practices.
However the political transition that Yemen is witnessing offers an opportunity to tackle these multiple emergencies for the country’s children. We plan to harness the hope that this fragile peace has brought about and that means delivering life-saving supplies to children, and boosting our efforts to improve a very worrying and grave situation for the country’s children.
This work goes on beyond the political cycle and elections which are not UNICEF’s mandate.
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