‘Heavy rains in Yemen making catastrophic humanitarian situation worse’

For the third time this year, torrential rains have lashed Yemen, making “an already catastrophic humanitarian situation even worse”, a UN spokesman said.

In July and August, floods damaged infrastructure, destroyed homes and shelters, ruined crops and killed people and livestock across the country already suffering from civil war, the Covid-19 pandemic and growing risk of famine, Xinhua news agency quoted Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, as saying on Thursday.

Estimates indicated that more than 62,000 families were affected across the country.

Some 24 million people across Yemen need humanitarian aid, including 14 million in acute need, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a situation report.

A fuel crisis that has been plaguing the country has seriously hampered the humanitarian response in northern governorates and stranded migrants are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, OCHA said.

Additionally, there are 3.65 million displaced people in the country.

The latest OCHA figures on the Covid-19 pandemic show 1,962 confirmed cases, with 567 deaths.

“The UN and our humanitarian partners provided emergency food supplies, hygiene kits and other essential items to more than 7,600 families affected by the floods across the country, while nearly 8,000 families have been verified for emergency assistance,” Dujarric said.

The Humanitarian Response Plan for Yemen at the end of last month was only 24 per cent funded, the lowest figure ever seen in Yemen so late in the year, OCHA said.

Only $811.5 million of the $3.38 billion have been donated so far.

“We urge donors to pay all outstanding pledges immediately and we urge those who have yet to pledge or pay to do so and increase support,” the spokesman added.

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