UN: Yemen programs fighting virus might stop by end of June

Wail al-Qubaty/AP Photo

Data Published: June 3, 2020

Source: AP News

The United Nations (U.N.) have warned that its programs to fight coronavirus and starvation in Yemen will be cut or even stopped by the end of June unless donor countries provide immediate monetary relief. Aid agencies need $2.41 billion to cover essential programs until December, and funding from other countries has fallen a billion dollars short. Due to a shortage of funds, 75% of U.N. programs in war-torn Yemen have already stopped or reduced operations, the World Food Program has cut rations in half, and U.N. funded health services were reduced in over 50% of hospitals. Hospitals in Yemen are not equipped to handle an outbreak of COVID-19, as they lack adequate electricity, personal protective equipment, and ventilators. Saudi Arabia has pledged $500 million in aid for Yemen this year, $300 million of which will go to U.N. and related agencies; however, U.N. figures show that only $16 million of that has come in so far. A key issue that has contributed to lower international funding is obstruction and interference by the Houthi rebels. The World Health Organization believes that there is currently an underestimation of the coronavirus outbreak in Yemen, which could affect efforts to get supplies into the country to help combat the virus.

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Summary by: Christina Blagojevic