A woman carrying tree branches to be used as firewood walks along a road, on the outskirts of Taez, in Yemen, on February 24, 2023. (Photo by AHMAD AL-BASHA / AFP)
Dubai: The World Health Organization on Sunday appealed for $392 million ahead of a UN-led donor conference in Geneva to avert the “potential collapse” of the health sector in war-torn Yemen.
The call came with the Arabian Peninsula country in the throes of one of the world’s worst humanitarian tragedies after eight years of war between Iran-backed Huthi rebels and government forces propped up by Saudi Arabia.
Nearly half of all health facilities in Yemen are only partly functioning or are completely out of service because of shortages of staff, funds, electricity, medicines, supplies and equipment, WHO says.
“Yemen requires urgent and robust support… to effectively avert the potential collapse of its health system,” said the agency’s Yemen representative Adham Abdel Moneim Ismail.
“New funding in the amount of US $392 million is required” to ensure that health facilities can continue providing services to 12.9 million people, he said in a statement.
Those needing assistance include 540,000 children under five who face severe acute malnutrition with a direct risk of death, according to Ismail.
His appeal came a day before the donor meeting being organised by the United Nations, Switzerland and Sweden.
The UN estimates that 21.6 million people — two-thirds of Yemen’s population — will require humanitarian aid and protection services in 2023.
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