United Nations News Center – Sanaa airport in Yemen opens after blockade; UNICEF says that the delivery of vaccines “can not be an exception”


November 27, 2017 – The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Monday that more than 11 million Yemeni children – almost all Yemeni children – urgently need humanitarian badistance, despite the Successful delivery of 1.9 million doses of vaccines to the Sana airport & # 39; to Sunday.

"Yesterday's success can not be an exception," said Geert Cappalaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, at a press conference in Amman, Jordan, and welcomed the reopening of the airport of Sana, which allowed the first humanitarian delivery of the agency in three weeks.

Vaccines are urgently needed for a planned campaign to vaccinate 600,000 children throughout Yemen against diphtheria, meningitis, whooping cough, pneumonia and tuberculosis.

"Today, it is fair to say that Yemen is one of the worst places in the world to be a child," he said. "The reason behind this is very direct: decades of conflict, decades also of chronic underdevelopment."

Today it is estimated that every 10 minutes a child in Yemen is dying of preventable diseases, he added, noting that the outbreak of acute watery diarrhea and cholera this year is not a surprise, because the water and sanitation system throughout the The country is almost completely devastated and the health system is on its knees.

"The war in Yemen is sadly a war against children," he said, and called on all parties to the conflict to stop fighting.

VIDEO : UN flights to the Yemeni capital resumed on November 25, bringing vaccines that will immunize 600,000 Yemeni children against preventable diseases.

Nearly 5,000 children have died or been seriously injured in the last two and a half years alone, thousands of schools and health centers have been damaged or completely destroyed, and two million children suffer acute malnutrition.

Unfortunately, stocks of vaccines, despite the 1.9 million that UNICEF delivered on Sunday, are running out, said Mr. Cappalaere, calling for more vaccines to be delivered.

He also emphasized the urgent need for affordable fuel, since pumping water requires the use of generators in the absence of a national grid.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that after the announcement on November 22 by the Saudi-led coalition that the Sana'a airport and the Port of Al Hudaydah would be reopened for humanitarian and relief reasons Efforts, the UN sent notifications of humanitarian movements and static locations to the coalition to resume the transport of aid personnel and humanitarian cargo to northern Yemen.

Almost three weeks after the blockade was imposed, essential products such as food, fuel, drinking water and medical supplies have begun to become scarce in the country or have seen their prices skyrocket.

There is still a serious risk of death, disease and additional starvation. On November 20, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FewsNet) warned that if the blockade continues, it is likely that many areas of Yemen will experience hunger within three to four months, OCHA said.

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