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Humanitarian crisis deepens as cholera epidemic grips Yemen

22 Jun 2017

Wednesday 21 June 2017

Humanitarian crisis deepens as cholera epidemic grips Yemen

  • UN issues Presidential Statement on Yemen 
  • 158,960 cases of cholera reported across 20 of Yemen’s 22 regions

Yemen continues to face an ever-worsening humanitarian crisis, now exacerbated by an unprecedented outbreak of cholera affecting the whole country. 158,960 cases of cholera are suspected and more than 1,100 people have died of this preventable and treatable illness in recent weeks.

“Tearfund is reaching people in most need, through partners, distributing food, water and water filters. Our partners are working to prevent cholera from spreading even further by distributing cholera prevention kits including items such as water containers, chlorine tablets and soap and by promoting hygiene messages such as hand-washing,” says Guy Calvert-Lee, Deputy Head of Tearfund’s Eurasia programme.

The UN Presidential Statement issued on 15 June marks an important step towards increased international efforts to ease the immense suffering of Yemen’s people. Tearfund will continue to work with partners and other agencies to support people in Yemen through this crisis.

Mahri (not her real name), a mother of five children struggling to survive says: “I wish I could go back to my home village. Nothing waits for me here but death.” Her story is not unique. Almost 2 million people have had to flee their homes because of conflict and 18.8 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

For people like Mahri, who survives by working as a servant for families who themselves are displaced by war, hope and dignity are in short supply. She and her children can only wash if it rains as there simply isn’t enough water. Tearfund has been able to provide her family with daily drinking water, a water filter, soap and education about how to prevent cholera.


For further information or interview requests call Esther Trewinnard on 07929 335606 or Tearfund Media Team on 0208 943 7792. For out of hours media enquiries please call +44 (0)7498 540276.

Notes to editors:

  • To arrange an interview with Guy Calvert-Lee, Deputy Head of Tearfund’s Eurasia programme, please contact [email protected] or call 07929 335606. To contact Tearfund’s media team out of hours, please call 07710 573749 
  • On 15 June the United Nations Security Council issued a Presidential Statement on Yemen condemning the ongoing violence in Yemen and calling on all parties to agree upon a cessation of hostilities. The Security Council expressed its grave concern over the worsening humanitarian crisis, calling for improved access to Yemen’s sea ports and Sana’a airport for the delivery of life-saving humanitarian support.
  • 158,960 suspected cases of cholera have been registered by the Electronic Disease Early Warning System, the rate of infection stands at between 2,000-3,000 new cases each day 
  • In December 2016 Tearfund supporters raised £1.5 million for the Yemen Crisis Appeal (alongside the Disasters Emergency Committee appeal which has raised £24 million) 
  • Tearfund is a Christian relief and development agency and a member of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

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