The international humanitarian aid agency Islamic Relief is calling for aid workers to be given unhindered access in Yemen so that millions on the brink of malnutrition or suffering from cholera have access to the food and medicines that are being brought into the country.
The call was made following the arrival in Yemen of an Islamic Relief cargo airplane at Sana’a International Airport carrying 19 tons of cholera medicines.
Yemen is experiencing the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with a cholera epidemic that has seen more than 750,000 suspected cases and more than 2,000 deaths. Seventeen million people – 60 per cent of the population – are food insecure, with 7m at risk of famine.
However, critical humanitarian aid deliveries and commercial supplies are being prevented from reaching people as all Yemeni airports, seaports and land crossings have been closed. Aid workers in and out of Yemen have also been restricted in their movements.
Tufail Hussain, UK Deputy Director of Islamic Relief, said:
“The humanitarian situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate as the country faces the most serious outbreak of cholera ever recorded. Millions of Yemenis have no access to clean drinking water or sanitation.
“Yemen is on the brink of famine, and millions of women, children and men face starvation. Around half a million children under the age of five are severely malnourished and may die.
“We ask that all humanitarian agencies working in Yemen are given unhindered access and allowed to distribute urgent food and medical supplies to save lives.”