United Nations Geneva
Multimedia Newsroom
Edited Story / 2:21 / MP4 / 174.6 MB

12-06-2020 | Edited News , COVID-19

UNOG Bi-weekly press briefing: Humanitarian Crisis Yemen - UNICEF-OCHA

ENG

1.      Wide shot: exterior, UN Geneva flag alley.

SOUNDBITE (EN) – Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson for UNICEF: “As of today, UNICEF’s $479 million appeal to sustain essential basic services for children is just 38 per cent funded. The most critical and immediate funding gap is for emergency - water, sanitation and hygiene or what we call WASH operations, including for the COVID-19 response”.

2.      Medium shot: Flag alley in front of UN Geneva building 

3.       SOUNDBITE (EN) - Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson for UNICEF: “This means UNICEF will not be able to provide fuel to operate water pumping stations, or de-sludge sewage, or maintain crumbling water and sanitation infrastructure. It means we will not be able to distribute basic family hygiene kits that include soap, which is so critical for preventing both cholera and COVID in a context where millions don’t have access to handwashing facilities”.

4.      Medium shot: UN entry, Place des Nations with motorcycle passing by

5.      SOUNDBITE (EN) - Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson for UNICEF: “The criticality of maintaining safe water, sanitation and hygiene provision cannot be overstated in the context of a running cholera and diarrhea epidemic. Over 137,000 cases have been recorded since the beginning of the year, nearly a quarter of them among children below 5 years old”.

6.      Close up : UN Geneva Palais des Nations

7.      SOUNDBITE (EN) – Marixie Mercado, Spokesperson for UNICEF: “Without $48 million immediately, UNICEF will not be able to provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) items and operations support to 25,000 frontline workers, including health staff”.

8.      Medium shot: UN flag alley

SOUNDBITE (EN) – Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): “The case fatality rate is alarming high at more than 24 per cent. So that is, I believe, more than 3 times the average case fatality rate. The highest number of confirmed cases are in Aden, where up till the 6 June, there were 130 cases including 5 death followed by Hadramaut, where 126 cases, including 48 deaths”.

10.  Wide shot: UN flag

  1. SOUNDBITE (EN) – Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA): “We also know that eight and a half million people in the north are only receiving now every 2 months, so rations have been cut in half”.

12.  Medium shot: UN flag in front of UN Palais

YEMEN: Severe funding gaps for humanitarian aid as cases of Covid-19 are on the rise

UN Humanitarian agencies warned that aid projects face closure due to a severe lack of funding as Covid-19 spreads in war-torn Yemen. 

“As of today, UNICEF’s $479 million appeal to sustain essential basic services for children is just 38 per cent funded”, said Marixie Mercado, spokesperson for UNICEF speaking today to a virtual press conference at the United Nations in Geneva. “The most critical and immediate funding gap is for emergency - water, sanitation and hygiene or what we call WASH operations, including for the COVID-19 response”.

At the High-Level Pledging Event for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen on June 2nd, 31 international donors announced pledges of a combined US$1.35 billion to meet the humanitarian needs of people affected by the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis. As of today, some 47 per cent ($637 million) of the pledges have been paid.

Of the 8.4 million Yemenis whose access to WASH will be affected because of insufficient funding, a total of 4 million people – nearly half of them children – directly depend on UNICEF. 

Unless UNICEF receives U$30 million by the end of June, water, sanitation and hygiene services will start shutting down for these 4 million people in July. 

This means UNICEF will not be able to provide fuel to operate water pumping stations, or de-sludge sewage, or maintain crumbling water and sanitation infrastructure”, UNICEF’s spokesperson said. “It means we will not be able to distribute basic family hygiene kits that include soap, which is so critical for preventing both cholera and COVID in a context where millions don’t have access to handwashing facilities”.

To ensure UNICEF’s WASH services till the end of the year, the organisation requires U$110 million USD. 

UNICEF’s spokesperson explained that “the criticality of maintaining safe water, sanitation and hygiene provision cannot be overstated in the context of a running cholera and diarrhea epidemic”. She added that “over 137,000 cases have been recorded since the beginning of the year, nearly a quarter of them among children below 5 years old”.

UNICEF has shipped over 33,000 N95 respirators, 33.000 face shields, and 18,000 gowns for frontline workers. However, this represents only 5 per cent of the Covid-19 supplies UNICEF requires. Without $48 million immediately, UNICEF will not be able to provide PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) items and operations support to 25,000 frontline workers, including health staff”, UNICEF’s spokesperson said.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) between 10 April, when the first case was confirmed, and 11 June, the authorities in Yemen announced 564 confirmed COVID-19 cases including 130 deaths.

Jens Laerke, Spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that “the case fatality rate is alarming high at more than 24 per cent. So that is, I believe, more than 3 times the average case fatality rate. The highest number of confirmed cases are in Aden, where up till the 6 June there were 130 cases including 5 death followed by Hadramaut were 126 cases, including 48 deaths”.

Reports continue to indicate that many more people are symptomatic and are dying with COVID-19-like symptoms.

Due to the lack in funding of humanitarian aid work, OCHA reported already some of the first consequences for the Yemenis. “We know that eight and a half million people in the north are only receiving food every 2 months now, so rations have been cut in half”, Jens Laerke said.

Aid agencies in Yemen continue to scale up the response, prioritizing suppression of virus transmission through community engagement and public information campaigns and to procure and distribute medical supplies and equipment.


More Related News