The head of anti-poverty NGO CARE International on Saturday denounced the humanitarian crisis in war-torn Yemen, which is also suffering from a cholera epidemic, as “an absolute shame on humanity”.
The conflict in Yemen has escalated dramatically since March 2015, when Saudi-led forces launched a military operation in support of the government against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
“We are now in the 21st century and the current situation is an absolute shame on humanity,” Wolfgang Jamann told reporters after a five-day visit to the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.
“Thousands of civilians have died since the start of the conflict and millions more have been displaced inside the country,” he told a news conference.
Jamann said “60% of the country is food insecure and over half the population is unable (to access) safe drinking water”.
“Many areas in Yemen are just one step away from a famine situation,” he said, and urged the international community to “end the suffering”.
The war in Yemen has caused more than 8,000 deaths — mostly of civilians — since the coalition intervened, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
More than 44,500 people are estimated to have been wounded.
The situation in the country of some 27mn has been worsened by a massive outbreak of the bacterial infection cholera.
On Friday, the WHO said the number of suspected cholera infections in Yemen had risen to nearly 370,000, as of July 19.
It said 1,828 people have died in the outbreak since it erupted in late April.