International organizations, including the United Nations (UN) and the Red Cross, say the Saudi-led war on and embargo against Yemen are behind a cholera epidemic that has claimed the lives of more than 180 people in the impoverished country so far.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said 11,000 confirmed cases of cholera had been reported in the country, describing the situation as “catastrophic.”
Dominik Stillhart, the ICRC’s director of operations, said the hospitals he had personally visited in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, were “really struggling to cope” with the increasing numbers of patients.
Stillhart said 160 hospitals and other medical facilities had been demolished, mostly in Saudi military attacks, “seriously weakening the health system.”
He also said the Saudi aerial and naval blockade on Yemen was one of the main causes of the famine and poverty, which in turn provided a breeding ground for the cholera epidemic as it hindered the transport of goods and medicine into the country.
Stillhart also said the Saudi war had led to the collapse of the economy in Yemen and had made it very costly to move merchandise across the country through different front-lines.