UNICEF airlifts lifesaving supplies to yemen to combat cholera as cases surpass 200,000

workers are Loading supplies on Trucks, Hudaidah City Yemen, 19/06/2017 (Photo: UNICEF)

SANA’A, 28 June 2017 –Three UNICEF charter planes have delivered 36 tons of lifesaving medical and water purification supplies to Yemen to scale up efforts to combat the world’s worst cholera outbreak.

The supplies included, 750,000 sachets of Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS) enough to treat 10,000 people, 10.5 million water purification tablets and other sanitation items.

“We are in a race against time. Our teams are working with partners not only to provide treatment to the sick and raise awareness among communities, but also to rapidly replenish and distribute supplies and medicines”, said Dr Sherin Varkey, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Yemen. “More airlifts of critical supplies will continue in the coming days”.

In just two months, cholera has spread to almost every governorate of Yemen. Already more than 1,300 people have died – one quarter of them children. Civil servants, including doctors, nurses, water engineers and rubbish collectors have not been paid for nearly 10 months.

Since the outbreak was reported on 27 April, UNICEF has distributed over 600,000 ORS sachets and 20,000 Intravenous (IV) fluids to oral rehydration points and at homes. With partners, UNICEF has supported the establishment of 488 oral rehydration therapy points and more than 20 Diarrhoea Treatment Centres across the country.

Funded by the World Bank, these supplies and their timely delivery to Yemen are essential in scaling up the response.