UPDATE: June 2017

The conflict in Yemen, which escalated in March 2015, has led to a full-blown humanitarian emergency. All armed actors involved in the conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis, are carrying out indiscriminate attacks without any respect for civilians or civilian infrastructures such as hospitals, schools or markets.

According to UN data,  more than 18 million people are in need of humanitarian aid, some three million are internally displaced and tens of thousands of people have died or been injured. Food is scarce and prices have risen drastically.

Against this backdrop, a cholera outbreak has been spreading since April 2017. Poor sanitation and the lack of safe drinking water due to the conflict make the population more vulnerable to the infection, particularly people suffering from chronic and acute malnutrition. By 17 June, the number of suspected cholera cases reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and national health authorities had reached 151,400, with 1,054 deaths registered.

Cases of cholera are being reported from 19 out of 22 governorates. Between early April and 18 June, MSF received 41,479 patients with cholera and acute watery diarrhoea. Of the more than 41,000 patients seen since 30 March, over 17,000 sought treatment between 4 and 18 June.

MSF teams are now running nine cholera treatment centres (CTCs), seven cholera treatment units and two stabilisation units in nine governorates (Amran, Hajjah, Ad Dhale, Hodaidah, Ibb, Taiz, Sana’a, Aden and Abyan). In other locations, MSF is evaluating needs and providing support through donations.

Health workers and all relevant authorities need to work hand in hand to stop the spread of the disease. Outbreak activities, including chlorination of infected water sources and the distribution of hygiene kits, are key.

MSF will focus on hygiene promotion in hard-to-reach areas, as well as chlorination of wells. Awareness-raising will be carried out via radio stations and in collaboration with mosques. Patients at CTCs will receive hygiene kits and disinfection kits.

MSF health facilities have been hit by airstrikes four times. The last bombing, an airstrike on Abs hospital on 15 August 2016, resulted in 19 deaths and 24 wounded, including an MSF staff member. The UN reports that over 600 health facilities in the country have stopped functioning due to damage or lack of staff/supplies and this is affecting access to healthcare for millions of people. Taiz city is one of the worst affected areas of Yemen, with intense fighting including daily shelling in the densely populated inner city. There has been no ceasefire here since July 2015.


Other recent updates:

Activities  2015 International Activity Report

Armed conflict escalated into a full-scale war in Yemen in 2015, exacerbating already massive medical and humanitarian needs and severely restricting access to healthcare.

The Houthis continued to advance in 2015, taking over the presidential palace in Sana'a in January. President Hadi fled to Aden, and a Saudi-led coalition supporting his government began airstrikes to recover lost territory, including the port of Aden. Meanwhile, the war allowed Al Qaida and Islamic State (IS) group fighters to reinforce their presence in the country. By year’s end, the United Nations estimated that 2,800 people had been killed and some 2.5 million were internally displaced. The healthcare system has been decimated: medical staff have fled the country, facilities have been destroyed and medical supplies cut.

MSF managed to maintain its operations in Aden when it was divided by a frontline. In other areas it also scaled up its activities during 2015 as much as security allowed, despite an attack that destroyed the hospital it supports in Haydan, Sa’ada governorate, on 26 October and another on its tented clinic in Al-Houban, Taiz governorate, on 2 December, which wounded nine. A fuel blockade hampered the delivery of aid, while fighting, shifting frontlines and airstrikes restricted the movement of people and humanitarian organisations.

Read more about MSF's activities in Yemen in 2015.

Year MSF first worked in the country: 1994.

2015 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 151,000
Patients admitted to hospital 14,700
Patients treated for intentional physical violence, including war wounds 11,700
Surgical interventions 10,400
Antenatal care consultations 9,800
No. staff in 2015 551
2015 Expenditure €38.4 million

Figures from 2015 International Activity Report
and 2015 International Financial Report

Activity Reports

Financial Reports


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