March 2020 marks over five years of devastating conflict in Yemen.
While we all face the struggles associated with a world health crisis, 24 million Yemenis already needed aid and protection before coronavirus began to spread globally. That’s 80 per cent of the population.
Millions remain on the brink of starvation.
By the end of 2019, this conflict had cost the lives of around 233,000 people. More than half of these were children.
Our partner and many other humanitarian aid agencies, as well as international governments, have been trying to meet the needs of the people in this country. At times they have faced obstruction, delay and restriction by those involved in the conflict.
We are still working. We have not given up. Our partner in the region is making a difference. We are not walking out on the people there.
But a new challenge potentially lurks on the horizon for Yemen...
Coronavirus is yet to be confirmed in the country, however, the likelihood of its spread is high as the number of cases in the region continue to grow.
In a country whose infrastructure has been devastated by five years of conflict, only half of health centres are fully functional.
People have been forced from their homes. Cholera and dengue fever already require lifesaving health responses. Overcrowding makes it difficult to follow basic protection measures like social distancing and hand washing – if the helpful information can be spread fast enough. And if there’s enough clean water.