The impact of coronavirus on Yemen will be devastating after years of civil war, the head of the United Nations Refugee Agency in the country has told Sky News.
Speaking from the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, Jean-Nicolas Beuze said the number of suspected COVID-19 cases in the country appears to be multiplying fast and, at the same time, international aid agencies are being forced to abandon critical programmes.
“The coronavirus may be the straw which will break the camel’s back in Yemen,” Mr Beuze said via video link.
“It’s very difficult for the public health authorities despite all their efforts to track the spread of the coronavirus. We don’t have enough tests.
“Half of the health facilities have been destroyed by five years of conflict. People die from many other causes too such as dengue fever, malaria, cholera.”
Numerous diseases are already endemic in Yemen and years of civil war has displaced millions.
More than 24 million Yemenis – 80% of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance. Half of the country’s health facilities are dysfunctional and nearly a quarter of the country’s districts have no doctors.