ICRC says 600000 Yemenis could contract cholera in 2017

Barsaba Taglieri
Luglio 23, 2017

Pro-government forces - supported by a Saudi-led military coalition - are fighting to retake areas of the country from Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Peter Maurer, the president of ICRC arrived in Yemen on Sunday as part of worldwide efforts to prevent the spread of the "unprecedented" cholera outbreak in this war-torn country, the ICRC press service said.

"Thousands of civilians have died since the start of the conflict and millions more have been displaced inside the country", Jamann said.

"Many areas in Yemen are just one step away from a starvation situation", the body's CEO said, urging the worldwide community to "end the suffering". "The world is sleepwalking into yet more tragedy", he added. More than 44,500 people are estimated to have been wounded.

The charity Oxfam, on the other hand, said the number of suspected cases of cholera could rise to more than 600,000, making the epidemic "the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year since records began".

The situation in the country of some 27 million has been worsened by a massive outbreak of the bacterial infection cholera.

On Friday, the World Health Organization said the number of suspected cholera infections in the Arab world's most impoverished country had risen to almost 370,000 as of July 19.

One in every 45 Yemenis will contract cholera by December as "a direct outcome of a conflict that has devastated civilian infrastructure and brought the whole health system to its knees", the ICRC said in a statement.

A string of vital ports along the country's Red Sea coastline are blockaded, leaving millions of people with limited access to food and medicine. With less than 45% of the country's medical facilities operational - and others only partially functioning - the health system is unable to help all those in need.

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