More than 12 million children and six million women of childbearing age need some kind of humanitarian assistance, the humanitarians reported, while more than one million pregnant women are malnourished.
The head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) outlined the impact the fighting has had on education.
“Before COVID, two million children were out of school. Now because of the pandemic, schools have been closed around the country, leaving an additional five million children out of school. And we know that in countries blighted by poverty and conflict, the longer children are out of school, the less likely they are to return,” said Henrietta Fore, the agency’s Executive Director.
The ongoing fighting means Yemenis are forced to flee their homes, with nearly 100,000 uprooted this year alone.
Overall, the conflict has displaced some 3.6 million people. They are living in unsanitary and overcrowded conditions which make it impossible to practice physical distancing and other measures to contain COVID-19. Again, most of those affected are women and children.
Amidst the mounting challenges, the UN and its humanitarian partners continue to provide protection and support that prioritizes the most vulnerable citizens in Yemen.
Their COVID-19 strategy focuses on scaling up early detection and testing, isolation and treatment of cases, and contact tracing: all proven public health measures to combat the disease.
They are also mobilizing life-saving supplies and equipment while still delivering the world’s largest relief operation.
“Humanitarians have been remarkably successful in mitigating some of the worst consequences of the Yemen crisis for civilians. But only a political solution can end the crisis altogether. We need a cessation of hostilities across the country to address the ever-mounting humanitarian needs”, they said.
“If the political process has any chance of success, the humanitarian situation must be kept stable. We have the skills, staff and capacity to do this. What we don’t have is the money. We are running out of time. We ask donors to pledge generously and pay pledges promptly.”