Reports & News

Tue - 24 Mar 2020 - 08:26 PM ،،،

 Five years of war has crippled Yemen’s ability to prepare and face a possible outbreak of coronavirus, leaving millions extremely vulnerable under a decimated health system.

Although Yemen does not have any confirmed Covid-19 cases as yet, the Norwegian Refugee Council is extremely concerned that any outbreak could have catastrophic consequences for displaced families. Five years of war have damaged and destroyed thousands of hospitals, and water and sanitation systems have collapsed. Yemen is already reeling from the impact of other diseases, and is likely to see a rise in cholera once again with the onset of the rainy season.

“We’re extremely concerned that on top of everything else, the possibility of coronavirus reaching Yemen will have devastating consequences for an already overstretched health system and vulnerable population. Five years of war have crippled Yemen’s ability to respond to any outbreak and it is now a race against time to prepare,” said NRC’s Yemen Country Director Mohammed Abdi.

Suspension of flights in to the country and other measures to combat Covid-19 introduced by the authorities are impacting the humanitarian response. Because of these restrictions NRC and other humanitarian organisations are being forced to scale back their activities but trying to maintain essential humanitarian services such as food and cash distributions and scaling up Covid-19 prevention activities such as water, sanitation and hygiene awareness. In the event of an outbreak and a complete lock down any prolonged closure of the airports and ports could have a massive impact on the humanitarian situation with Yemen relying heavily on imported food, fuel and medicines.