UN condemns destruction of health system in Yemen
July 13, Brussels: The UN has condemned the destruction of the health system in Yemen which catalysed the major cholera outbreak in the country which has affected thousands of innocent civilians.
“This is a man-made crisis, and the sheer scale of humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people is a direct result of the conflict and serious violations of international law,” Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Stephen O'Brien told UN Security Council in a statement on Wednesday.
The campaign against the Houthi rebels and remnants of the country’s military loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh has had little to no military effect, but has resulted in over 10,000 civilian deaths, according to UN estimates.
The military campaign is also supported by a strict air and naval blockade on Yemen, backed by the US. It has drastically worsened the humanitarian situation in the war-torn country, effectively leading to the collapse of healthcare.
“Yemen is facing critical stoppages of hospitals and a lack of doctors and nurses. The health system has essentially collapsed, with an estimated 55 per cent of facilities closed due to damage, destruction or lack of funds,” O’Brien said. “Some 30,000 health care workers have not been paid in nearly a year and no funding has been provided to keep basic infrastructure such as hospitals, water pumping and sanitation stations operating.”
According to reports, to improve the humanitarian situation in Yemen, O’Brien has appealed to the UN Security Council with the same “call made last time I briefed this Council six weeks ago.” His program consists of three main points: Paying Yemeni public servants, despite the fact that “the UN and partners cannot replace State functions,” protecting Yemeni people and critical infrastructure and lifting air and naval blockade in order to “both humanitarian and commercial imports in a predictable and stable manner.”
“If only I didn’t have to repeat [the call] – there has been change since then, only for the dramatically worse,” O’Brien said.
The Oslo Times International News Network