Emergency aid to Yemen: cholera and food insecurity

Since March 2015 there has been war in Yemen. Three years later, more than 20 million people – 80% of the population – are in need of humanitarian aid. Large parts of the country’s infrastructure have been destroyed, over 10,000 people have been killed and millions displaced. Millions of people suffer from malnutrition – a particular risk to children. Public services and water and sanitation supply are out of service.

action medeor supplies medical aid

To support the suffering Yemeni population, action medeor supports local healthcare facilities with medical aid. action medeor has already shipped more than 40 tons of medical aid deliveries to Yemen which included infusion solutions for the treatment of cholera, as well as various medications, vitamin supplements and therapeutic food for health facilities and hospitals.

Further deliveries are currently being prepared.

Breakdown of health care

Over 16 million people in Yemen have no access to basic health care. According to the World Health Organization, less than 45 percent of health facilities in the country are still fully functional. Furthermore, the supply of medicines can no longer be guaranteed, as the quantity of imported drugs has reduced by 70 per cent since the fighting began.

At the beginning of 2017, the United Nations announced that every ten minutes, a child under the age of five dies of preventable diseases.


In October 2016 a cholera outbreak was reported in Yemen. Since that time, the number of cases has been increasing dramatically. In mid-July 2017, the World Health Organization reported more than 320,000 cases and 1,700 victims. By the beginning of 2018, the number of suspected cases has risen to over one million.

Children are particularly affected. Many children who died of cholera had already been weakened by malnourishment. If a cholera is not treated, 15 per cent of the patients with die within a few hours. Cholera is transmitted via sewage contaminated with feces, which is why the disease spreads rapidly in areas where infrastructure is damaged by conflicts or catastrophes.

In addition to the cholera epidemic, an outbreak of diphtheria exacerbates the situation in Yemen. The collapse of the country’s health system means that people cannot be treated adequately and that highly infectious diseases spread unhindered.