17 million Yemenis in need of health assistance, cholera in Somalia, OCHA director resignation, Haiti crisis updates — global issues

According to the United Nations health agency (who), approximately 18 million people require medical assistance, half of them children.

The WHO said nearly one in two children under the age of five suffers from moderate to severe stunting, adding up to nearly 2.4 million children.

“It is important to take a step back and remember that starving children, disease outbreaks and hospital closures should not become the norm,” said Dr Hanan Balki, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

In Yemen, fighting is taking place between the internationally recognized government in Aden and mainly Houthi rebels who occupy the capital Sanaa and other territory, with a significant decline in international support. ing.

become increasingly vulnerable

This leaves communities vulnerable to worsening conditions such as climate change.

The United Nations health agency said natural disasters, particularly heavy rains and flash floods, were the main cause of new displacement in Yemen last year.

The report noted that around 4.5 million people remain internally displaced, of whom around eight in 10 are women and children.

Over the past five years, funding for WHO operations in the country has fallen by 45 percent. This year, the United Nations agency needs $77 million to provide essential health assistance.

WHO currently supports 96 therapeutic feeding centers, enough to help about 30,000 children a year.

We also provide nutritional testing services in over 270 districts. These centers have achieved a cure rate of 96%, far exceeding international standards.

Deadly cholera outbreak spreads rapidly in Somalia, UN aid team warns

Cholera killed nine people across Somalia last week and more than 50 in recent months. This was revealed by the United Nations aid team. Monday.

Warning from the United Nations Aid Coordination Office, teaHirshabelle, Puntland and South-West provinces have confirmed the spread of the preventable disease, with an increase in the number of cases reported.

When the rains begin next month, the spread of infection is expected to increase, especially in high-risk areas located in the Shabelle and Juba river basins.

Infections increase in the capital

The number of cholera infections in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, has increased sharply over the past two weeks, with the United Nations health agency WHO reporting that the number of cases by 2024 will triple compared to the past three years.

More than six out of 10 deaths in this outbreak are among children under the age of five, due to high levels of malnutrition, poor access to clean water and sanitation, and open defecation.

Approximately 1.4 million doses of cholera vaccine have been approved as part of ongoing relief efforts. More than 100 cholera kits have also been prepositioned across the country, with enough supplies to treat 10,500 patients.

UN relief chief resigns

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Martin Griffiths announced on Monday that he was stepping down from his top aid job due to health reasons.

Acting UN spokesperson Farhan Haq told correspondents that he had informed the secretary-general of the decision earlier in the day but would remain in his post until the end of June to ensure a smooth transition. .

Mr Griffiths said it had been the “privilege of life” to serve as relief chief in the X post and thanked all partners and supporters who championed people in crisis.

“The Secretary-General expresses his deep appreciation for Mr. Griffiths’ significant leadership and contribution to the United Nations and the humanitarian community in advocating for people affected by crises and mobilizing resources to address their needs. ” said Haq.

Mr Griffiths, who heads the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), took up his post in July 2021 at a time of rising humanitarian needs and shrinking resources.

“He tirelessly advocated for the delivery of life-saving aid and resources to those most in need,” leading the humanitarian response and finding solutions to some of the most intractable crises. has played an “important role” in negotiations.

Haiti: Insecurity and violence continue

Violence and insecurity continue to disrupt aid efforts in Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince, OCHA said on Monday, while WHO said only half of the capital’s health facilities were functioning at normal capacity. He warned that it was not enough.

The crisis stemming from years of political and economic turmoil has crippled medical relief efforts and hindered access to the few remaining facilities.

Haq said the recently reopened Bernard Mevs Hospital was once again forced to suspend operations due to the worsening security situation, as an example of the unstable environment caused by rampant gang activity and human rights abuses plaguing the capital. .

Despite the challenges, WHO is supporting the Ministry of Health and local partners with supplies and logistics, including water, sanitation and disease surveillance at IDP centres.

Hot meals in hard-to-reach places

Meanwhile, the World Food Program (United Nations WFP) Haitian Chief Jean-Martin Bauer said yesterday that they were able to provide more than 17,500 hot meals to displaced people each day.

“We were also able to provide food to people in very difficult areas, including Cité Soleil,” he said.

UNICEF and its partners continue to provide psychosocial support to those affected, and humanitarian actors urge all stakeholders to urgently allow unimpeded and safe access to those in need. We continue to strongly appeal to people.

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