STC WELCOMES EU RELIEF EFFORTS FOR FLOOD VICTIMS ACROSS YEMEN
[BERLIN – 20 MAY 2020] The European Union’s announcement of €160,000 in humanitarian aid to assist those affected by the flash floods that hit Yemen on 21 April comes at a critical time. The floods predominantly affected South Yemeni governorates: Aden, Lahj, Abyan, and Hadhramaut, and brought severe devastation to the population and infrastructure. This generous support will contribute to alleviating the dire consequences for all affected, including internally displaced persons. We look to the EU and international partners to extend more such funding to all Yemenis in the upcoming humanitarian pledging conference for Yemen amid the dangerous spread of COVID-19 and other diseases.
The STC’s Emergency and Humanitarian Action committees, as well Southern Self-Administration teams are working diligently to serve the population in the South over the past month, with support from international humanitarian partners. We have succeeded in establishing an isolation center for Coronavirus cases and our medical teams have put protocols in place to make the most of the debilitated health system to respond to the spread of COVID-19, and other diseases – Cholera, Malaria, Dengue Fever – claiming dozens of lives daily. After cuts due to long-term neglect from central Yemeni authorities, we have managed to restore electricity to various areas.
Still, the situation in the South and across the country remains dire. Too many are enduring a lack of basic services such as water, sanitation, and electricity. All the while, the daily death toll by Coronavirus, which is spreading at an unknown rate, and infectious diseases, is rising. In Aden alone, 950 have died since the beginning of May. The means to treat and contain these diseases are currently non-existent. Unless the situation changes quickly, we are bracing for near one hundred percent mortality rates for cases requiring medical assistance.
Efforts to address the gaps in infrastructure and services, and comprehensive support for medical personnel and operationalizing field hospitals are urgently needed. We are gravely concerned about the expected cuts to UN programmes on the ground without continuous and adequate funding for the UN response plan. The STC and Southern Self-Administration is committed to playing its part to coordinate with UN and international partners to facilitate humanitarian and development assistance to and via the South without delay or obstruction. A coalescing of regional and international efforts to aid our people is exactly the type of leadership needed to counter the COVID-19 crisis and broader conflict. We urge the EU and partners to work with our teams to ensure support is channeled effectively and fully on the ground.