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U.N. Officials Urge Opening Of Ports Amid Threats Of Famine, Diphtheria, Cholera Epidemics

ABC News: Yemen’s cities running out of fuel and clean water in ‘imminent catastrophe,’ U.N. says
“…Millions of Yemenis depend on [imported] supplies, and without fuel, health and water facilities can’t run. So Yemen’s cities are running out of clean water, the chiefs of several United Nations agencies and other top humanitarian officials said in a statement Saturday…” (Gittleson, 12/3).

Agence France-Presse: Yemen diphtheria cases soar amid dire vaccine shortage: WHO
“Twenty-two people have died of suspected diphtheria in conflict-ravaged Yemen, the World Health Organization said Friday, warning that a port and airport blockade had created a dire shortage of vaccines…” (12/2).

New York Times: Ravaged by Cholera, Yemen Faces 2nd Preventable Scourge: Diphtheria
“…The disease, which the medical charity Doctors Without Borders said had not been seen in Yemen for 25 years, has now spread to 13 of Yemen’s 22 governorates…” (Gladstone, 12/1).

Reuters: Cholera could resurge in Yemen due to lack of aid, fuel: WHO
“…Some 960,000 suspected cases of cholera and 2,219 deaths have been reported since the epidemic began in April, WHO figures show. … Although the number of new cases has dropped for 11 straight weeks, 35 districts in Yemen are still reporting cholera with ‘high attack rates’ in communities, [Nevio Zagaria, WHO country representative in Yemen,] said…” (Nebehay, 12/3).

U.N. News Centre: Yemen: As threat of famine looms, U.N. urges Saudi-led coalition to fully lift blockade of Red Sea ports
“Top officials from across the United Nations system called on Saturday for the Saudi-led coalition to fully lift its blockade of Yemen’s Red Sea ports, warning that unless commercial imports are resumed, ‘the threat of widespread famine in a matter of months is very real’…” (12/2).

VOA News: Diphtheria Cases Soaring in Yemen as Blockade Creates Shortage of Vaccines
“…Following an international outcry, Saudi Arabia has partially lifted the blockade. As a consequence, [WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier] says a ship carrying 33 tons of medical supplies, including surgical supply kits, infant incubators, and vaccine cold boxes is arriving in Hodeida port. But, because of the long delay and closure of access, he says there is a big backlog of anti-diphtheria vaccines and other supplies stored in Djibouti and elsewhere waiting to get in” (Schlein, 12/3).

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