18 September 2020

COVID-19 is propelling Yemen further into the abyss

Alexander Matheou, Executive Director of International for the British Red Cross, said
“Yemen has long been facing a crisis of catastrophic proportions. It is not the first time its people, who have been suffering the effects of a long and brutal conflict, have faced famine. Now, COVID-19 is propelling Yemen further into the abyss. Funding is running out for Yemen and so is time. Yemeni people urgently need support, now.”

  • If Yemen were 100 people, 80 would need aid to survive. But Yemen is not 100 people; it is 30 million people.
  • More than 20 million Yemenis do not have enough to eat. Only 51% of health facilities are functioning and most people struggle to access clean water.
  • Health centres lack basic equipment like masks and gloves, let alone oxygen and other essential supplies to treat COVID-19.  Many health workers have no protective gear, and most are receiving no salaries.
  • Yemen does not have the capabilities to respond to COVID-19 and to protect its people from this deadly virus.
  • And now, the UN has warned that a ‘spectre of famine’ has returned to Yemen.
  • Humanitarian aid will not solve Yemen’s problems, but it can help to save its people. Just two years ago, when the UN last warned of famine in Yemen, increased humanitarian funding saved Yemeni people from the cliff’s edge.
  • Continued fighting, failed harvests, flooding, locusts and the spread of diseases like cholera, dengue and now COVID-19, have continued to boil over to create the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
  • The British Red Cross works with the Yemen Red Crescent. It is their volunteers who are on the frontline of this response. They work tirelessly in their communities to support people, as Yemen is hit with relentless and unimaginable challenges. COVID-19 could prove to be the biggest and most deadly challenge of all.
  • Yemenis must not be forgotten, please donate to the British Red Cross appeal www.redcross.org.uk/Yemen.