Cholera cases in Yemen, torn by a two-year civil war fueled by rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia, now stand at one million, according to an assessment by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
In a message posted on Twitter, the ICRC wrote on Thursday: “The suspected cases of cholera have reached the one million mark, which amplifies the suffering of the country caught in a brutal war. ”
According to data compiled by the World Health Organization (WHO), between April 27 and November 8, 913,741 suspected cases of cholera and 2196 deaths related to this disease were reported. These are alarming data, according to WHO, although the number of reported cases has been decreasing for several weeks.
The blockade of Saudis blamed
The living conditions of the population, already severely tested by the fighting, hunger and epidemics, are significantly aggravated by the blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia on all commercial cargoes as well as on humanitarian aid shipments.
The aid thus arrives drop-wise to the populations affected by the famine and the disease, in particular cholera, which is spread by water or food contaminated by faeces or unfit for consumption.
On November 10, WHO warned that the fight against cholera in Yemen would suffer “a serious setback” if the country’s blockade continued.
“We have made progress [in the treatment of the epidemic], but we will suffer a serious setback if we do not have full access to all affected areas,” said a spokeswoman for WHO, Fadela Chaib.
The pro-government coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, for its part assured Wednesday that the port of Hodeida, on the Red Sea, would remain open “for a period of 30 days” for humanitarian aid and commercial vessels carrying especially food and fuel.
Nearly three years of bloody war
Yemen has been in the throes of a civil war for nearly three years and is the scene of a bloody war between forces loyal to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebel movement, which occupy important areas of the country, including the capital. Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia decided to form a military coalition in March 2015 to counter the progress of Houthi rebels in the country. According to Riyadh, these Shiite rebels are backed by Iran, its biggest rival in the region.
Since then, the conflict has killed more than 8750 people, including 1500 children, as well as 50,600 injured. The UN also considers that Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the world at the beginning of the conflict, has become the scene of the “worst humanitarian crisis in the world”.