United Nations fighting Cholera in Yemen

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As the war-torn country reels from the disease and the threat of starvation, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the cholera epidemic "continues to spiral out of control" since it erupted in April. Today, over 300,000 people are suspected to be ill.

ICRC regional director Robert Mardini said about 7,000 new cholera cases were being recorded daily in the capital Sanaa and three other areas.

About 40 per cent of the suspected cases and a quarter of the deaths were among children younger than 15 years old, particularly the malnourished.

ICRC spokeswoman Iolanda Jaquemet said the death toll now stood at more than 1,700, up by 200 cases from the death toll reported by the World Health Organization on July 1.

While easily preventable with proper sanitation procedures, after more than two years of war the country's health, water and sanitation systems are on the verge of breaking down, making the food and water-borne epidemic very hard to contain.

Cholera is a diarrhoeal infection that is caused by the ingestion of food or water contaminated with Vibrio cholera bacteria.

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Although the disease is easily treatable, doing so in Yemen has proved particularly hard.

The cholera outbreak is feared to accelerate a menacing starvation in Yemen, as limited resources are shifted from providing food and drinking water to fighting the illness, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said on Tuesday.

"Agencies have had to use resources which they had programmed otherwise, for example for food security or malnutrition", said Mr. McGoldrick.

The coalition has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country's ports and airports as a part of his aggression which is aimed at restoring power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The UN has received only one-third of the $2.1 billion it sought to provide food to the millions people facing starvation in Yemen; separately, a $250 million funding appeal on cholera received only $47 million.

He noted that two million additional people were added to the humanitarian case load since the start of the year as a result of the cholera outbreak, the looming starvation, and the economic collapse.

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