UN shuts 70% of life-saving health services due to lack of funds

September 13, 2020

The United Nations (UN) announced on Thursday that it closed down 70 per cent of life-saving reproductive health programmes at the start of September due to lack of funds, the UN Population Fund in Yemen (UNFPA) reported.

On Twitter, UNFPA posted: “As of September, 70 per cent of UNFPA’s life-saving reproductive health programme in #Yemen is suspended due to the lack of funding.”

In a report issued three weeks ago, the UN disclosed: “At a pledging event for Yemen held in February, the UN and humanitarian partners were promised $2.6 billion to meet the urgent needs of more than 20 million Yemenis. To date, less than half of this amount has been received.”

The report added: “Of the 34 major UN humanitarian programmes in Yemen, only three are funded for the entire year. Several have closed in recent weeks, and many large-scale projects designed to help destitute, hungry families have been unable to start. Another 22 life-saving programmes will close in the next two months unless funding is received.”

“We are desperate for the funds that were promised,” Lise Grande, UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, expressed. “When money doesn’t come, people die.”

Grande added: “All of us are ashamed by the situation. It’s heart-breaking to look a family in the eye and say we have no money to help.”

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) confirmed that the UN had been forced to suspend most of the country’s vaccination campaigns in May.

According to the report: “Procurement of medicines has been stopped and thousands of health workers are no longer receiving financial support. Plans to construct 30 new nutrition centres have been shelved and 14 safe houses and four specialised mental health facilities for women have closed. A treatment plant that purifies the water used to irrigate agricultural fields shut in June.”

middleeastmonitor