Yemen hospital airstrike under investigation amid resurgence of deadly cholera

OCHA/Matteo Minasi A cholera patient receives treatment in Aden’s Al-Sadaqah Hospital. (August 2018).

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


UN human rights staff in Yemen are investigating an apparent airstrike on a hospital in opposition-held territory which reportedly killed at least seven civilians on Tuesday, amid fears that cholera is spreading “like wildfire”, one of the organization’s senior humanitarian officials has warned.

Condemning the attack on Kitaf District in northern Sa’ada Governorate – and intensified fighting in Taizz city in the south-west of the country that shut another hospital at the weekend, Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, said that it was “unconscionable” that facilities were being destroyed “just when people need them the most”.

She added: “Cholera is starting to spread like wildfire across the country. In the past three months, we’ve seen 200 deaths and more than 110,000 suspected cases.”

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), meanwhile, said on Wednesday that colleagues in Yemen were preparing to investigate the Sa’ada airstrike to verify the number of civilian casualties.

Up to 14 March this year, OHCHR has verified the deaths of 7,072 civilians, since March 2015, and 11,205 have been injured. The real toll is likely far higher.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at least two people were killed and five injured during clashes in Taizz’s Al Mudhaffer district.

“International humanitarian law is unequivocal on this point,” Ms. Grande insisted. “Parties which resort to arms are required to do everything possible to protect hospitals and health facilities. This is not a voluntary commitment—it is a fundamental responsibility.”

Health teams ‘working day and night’ to stop cholera resurgence

Although the current cholera and diarrhoea outbreak is smaller than two years ago, when more than one million cases were reported, there are serious concerns that the coming rains and lack of basic healthcare facilities could spark a huge rise in infection levels.

Nearly one third of the reported cases are children under-five, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned.

“Our teams in Yemen are working day and night with a wide network of local partners to respond and stop the further spread and transmission of the diseases,” WHO said in a joint statement with UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). “We fear that the number of suspected cholera cases will continue to increase with the early arrival of the rainy season and as basic services, including lifesaving water systems and networks, have collapsed.”

Numerous problems have exacerbated the risk of a massive outbreak, including poor sewage disposal systems, the use of contaminated water for agriculture, unreliable electricity to store food and escalating violence in Hudaydah and Taizz, forcing families to flee their homes.

More than four years since fighting escalated in Yemen between supporters of Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Houthi opposition groups, Yemen is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the UN says.

In a recent appeal for help from international donors to save millions from starvation, UN Secretary-General António Guterres warned of an “overwhelming humanitarian calamity”.

Some 360,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition, Mr. Guterres told Member States last month, before citing one credible report that more than 80,000 children under five had died of starvation.

According to OCHA, nearly 80 per cent of the total population – 24.1 million people – require some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. Ten million people are a step away from famine and starvation and seven million are malnourished, it said in a statement.

To date, the $4.2 billion 2019 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) is only five per cent funded.

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

In 1975 NASA envisioned future life in space would look like this

Artificial Intelligence: a danger to mankind, or the key to a better world?

UN boosts humanitarian appeal to help tackle Zimbabwe’s ‘worst-ever’ hunger crisis

5 ways to net a sustainable future for aquaculture

Mental and comportamental health in the pandemic context

Three scenarios for the future of geopolitics

Colombia: ‘Significant strides’ towards integrated peace, UN envoy tells Security Council

The first new university in the UK for 40 years is taking a very different approach to education

As coronavirus spreads to poorer countries, here’s how the world can help

Governments and non-state actors need to take urgent action to meet Paris Agreement goals

ECB to people: Not responsible if you lose money on Bitcoin, your governments are

How robotics can help humanitarians bridge the digital divide

EU Budget 2020 deal: Investing more in climate action, youth and research

Privatization as a symptom of health inequity

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK government White paper

Christmas spending: Who can afford not to cut?

Turkey: Extension of EU humanitarian programmes supporting 1.7 million refugees receives green light

Statement by Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič on the explosion in Beirut, Lebanon

This Chinese tech giant’s latest gadget is… a bus

FROM THE FIELD: What do you want to be when you grow up? One day I will…

North-east Nigeria displacement crisis continues amid ‘increased sophistication’ of attackers, warns UN

Parliament to vote on new European Commission on 27 November

UNICEF must triple budget to combat Ebola outbreak in DR Congo; complex crisis impacting unprecedented number of children

We underestimate the power of data at our peril. This is why

‘Multiplicity’ of rights violations in Ukraine as fifth winter of conflict bites

How companies can build resilience against pandemics

This is how people in Europe are helping lead the energy charge

Could Europe become the first climate-neutral continent?

UN updates guidelines to ensure successful return to civilian life for former combatants

UN chief calls for ‘green and clean’ development in message for Africa Industrialization Day

World Youth Skills Day: What you need to know for 2020

In rural Bangladesh, solar power is changing lives

COP21 Breaking News_04 December: Launch of CREWS, climate risk & early warning systems

From philanthropy to profit: how clean energy is kickstarting sustainable development in East Africa

Do not confuse food charity with ‘right to food’, UN expert tells Italians, labelling food system exploitative

‘Global trust’ declining, ‘our world needs stepped-up global leadership’

We need to rethink the way we heat ourselves. Here’s why

World Editors Forum President: Credible media vital in the fight against COVID-19 and fake news epidemic

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

Parliament commemorates the victims of the Holocaust

Why is the World Health Organisation so much needed?

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

Mediterranean and Black Seas: Commission proposes fishing opportunities for 2020

Poorer countries set to be ‘increasingly dependent’ on food imports, says UN food agency report

Iran-US attack in Iraq: Guterres pledges ‘active engagement’ in further de-escalation efforts

Wars have rules: 5 things the UN humanitarian chief wants countries to tackle so human suffering in conflict can be minimized

Achieving targets on energy helps meet other Global Goals, UN forum told

These floating homes could protect people from flooding as sea levels rise

Banking on sunshine: world added far more solar than fossil fuel power generating capacity in 2017

The European Union continues to lead the global fight against climate change

Burnout is a pandemic. Why don’t we talk more about it?

EU job-search aid worth €9.9 million for 1,858 former Air France workers

8 top stories from the week in Davos 2020

Million across Yemen ‘just a step away from famine’, with food available but inaccessible

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

UN’s Bachelet addresses progress and setbacks in human rights worldwide

What UK and EU risk if Brexit “wins” these elections

US Middle East peace plan ‘lopsided’, says independent UN rights expert

Europe’s forests are booming. Here’s why.

MEPs urge the EU to lead the way to net-zero emissions by 2050

More Stings?

Advertising

Trackbacks

  1. […] drawn significant international attention as the United Nations (UN) human rights staff in Yemen have begun an investigation into the attack. Calls for an investigation have been echoed by countries like […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s