Middle East

Yemen is hit by once-in-a generation floods; tens of thousands of families lose everything

Sanaa, 26 April 2020 – Initial reports indicate that more than 100,000 people across Yemen have been impacted by torrential rains and flooding since mid-April. Health authorities in Aden Governorate, one of the hardest-hit areas, have confirmed seven deaths, including four children. Two people are missing, and deaths and injuries have been reported elsewhere.

“Countless families have lost everything,” said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen.

“This tragedy comes on top of the COVID-19 crisis, which comes on top of the pre-famine last year, which came on top of the worst cholera outbreak in modern history.”

Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Marib and Sanaa governorates and Sanaa City have been worst affected.

Flooding has damaged roads, bridges and the electricity grid, and contaminated water supplies, cutting access to basic services for thousands of people. Conditions are hardest for thousands of families already displaced who have now lost shelter, food rations and household supplies.

Humanitarian agencies have rushed to provide life-saving assistance including emergency health care, food packs, shelter, clean water and survival items. Agencies are also helping to drain water and clean flooded sites.

“Truly, none of us know how much more suffering the people of Yemen can take,” said Ms. Grande.

“The solution is clear. The parties to the conflict need to find the courage to stop fighting and start negotiating.”

“This is the only way this never-ending tragedy will finally stop.”

Yemen remains the worlds worst humanitarian disaster. Nearly 80 per cent of the population requires some form of humanitarian assistance and protection. Ten million people are a step away from famine and 7 million people are malnourished. Of the UNs 41 major humanitarian programmes, 31 will either reduce or shut unless funding is urgently received.

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