Yemen declares state of emergency over cholera outbreak

Authorities in Sanaa in May 2017 declared a state of emergency in the Yemeni capital over a deadly outbreak of cholera. Houthi-run health ministry stated that it was “unable to contain this disaster” and appealed for international humanitarian assistance to deal with the crisis. Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, is witnessing a devastating war between the Iranian-backed Houthis and the Saudi-supported government. Less than half of Yemen’s health facilities are functioning two years into the conflict.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on 14 May 2017 stated that the cholera outbreak has killed 115 people and left 8500 ill between 27 April 2017 and 13 May 2017. It is the second outbreak of cholera in less than a year in Yemen. The World Health Organization (WHO) now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq. On the other hand, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also stated that an estimated 7.6 million people live in areas at high risk of cholera transmission in Yemen.

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