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Cholera Epidemic in War-torn Yemen: 1,00,000 Suspected Cases, 791 dead

The people of Yemen are threatened by the epidemic of Cholera which has already claimed 791 lives. UNICEF reports there are 1,00,000 cases of Cholera in the country.

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Cholera Epidemic in Yemen
Less than half of the healthcare centres in Yemen are functional. VOA
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  • The unprecedented growth of Cholera Epidemic in Yemen has led to the serious humanitarian crisis in the country
  • The epidemic has already claimed 791 deaths in the country facing a lack of healthcare due to past two years of conflict
  • The WHO has estimated 1,00,000 cases of Cholera present in the country, particularly among children below 15 years of age

June 10, 2017: The Cholera epidemic is rising at unprecedented levels in the war-torn country Yemen. The disease has already claimed 791 lives while WHO reports that there still exist an estimated 1,00,000 cases of cholera.

Cholera is an infection caused by indigestion of food and water due to contamination by Vibrio Cholera bacterium. It can kill the individual in a matter of hours if the fluids inside the body are not replaced.

WHO recently stated that children below 15 years of age account for 46% of cholera cases. Most children of Yemen are also malnourished.

ALSO READ: Donald Trump and Saudi King Agree to Back Safe Zones in Syria and Yemen

The Oxfam charity organization estimates that cholera takes one life every hour in Yemen. 

The WHO report also stated that less than half of the medical centers are functional in Yemen. Most do not have access to clean water and the workers have not been paid since months.

Last month a state of emergency was announced by the Houthis who control most parts of Yemen. In addition to cholera, drought and food insecurity have led to the crisis situation in the country. In such conditions, epidemics have thrived on the population.

The epidemic is easily treatable with proper sanitations and healthcare systems but in Yemen’s case, these systems are on the verge of collapse.

Cholera epidemic in Yemen
The Saudi-led bombings have destroyed the important infrastructure of Yemen. VOA

For the past two years Saudi Arabia and its regional allies have carried out bombing campaigns on the Yemenese soil. Yemen has been bullied to misery. Saudi Arabia has put economic sanctions on Yemen in addition to blocking their air and sea ports which have restrained the import of food and medicines. The bombings have destroyed the important infrastructure of Yemen.

The real reason behind Saudi Arabia’s bombings is Iran. Iran supports the Houthis in Yemen which the Saudis perceive as a threat. The situation is kind of similar to Lebanon where

Cholera epidemic in Yemen
The Houthis are controlling certain parts of Yemen while the central government controls the other half with the support of Saudi Arabia and its allies. VOA

Yemen is facing humanitarian crisis and hopes for outside help in order to save its people. The WHO and UNICEF have initiated joint programmes for providing clean water to contain the epidemic and help Yemen, but stability in the region will only come when great powers decide to confront Saudi attacks.

by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394

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Despite Pleas From Senate, U.S. President Donald Trump Stands By Saudi Prince

Trump said he could abide by legislation ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen

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Donald Trump, Prince
U.S. President Donald Trump sits for an exclusive interview with Reuters journalists in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. VOA

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he stood by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince despite a CIA assessment that he ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and pleas from U.S. senators for Trump to condemn the kingdom’s de facto ruler.

Trump refused to comment on whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder, but he provided perhaps his most explicit show of support for the prince since Khashoggi’s death more than two months ago.

“He’s the leader of Saudi Arabia. They’ve been a very good ally,” Trump said in an interview in the Oval Office.

Saudi Arabia Prince
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the second day of the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. VOA

Asked by Reuters if standing by the kingdom meant standing by the prince, known as MbS, Trump responded: “Well, at this moment, it certainly does.”

Some members of Saudi Arabia’s ruling family are agitating to prevent MbS from becoming king, sources close to the royal court have told Reuters, and believe that the United States and Trump could play a determining role.

“I just haven’t heard that,” Trump said. “Honestly, I can’t comment on it because I had not heard that at all. In fact, if anything, I’ve heard that he’s very strongly in power.”

While Trump has condemned the murder of Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist who was often critical of MbS, he has given the benefit of the doubt to the prince with whom he has cultivated a deep relationship.

Trump again reiterated on Tuesday that the “crown prince vehemently denies” involvement in a killing that has sparked outrage around the world.

Khashoggi, Prince
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. VOA

Trump has come under fierce criticism from fellow Republicans in the Senate over the issue, particularly after CIA Director Gina Haspel briefed them. Last month, the CIA assessed that MbS ordered the killing, which Trump called “very premature.”

“You have to be willfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under the command of MbS,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, said last week.

Meeting with Senators

Graham and other senators who have supported the U.S.-Saudi alliance over the years have said that Trump should impose more sanctions after a first round targeted 17 Saudis for their alleged role in the killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

USA, Prince
Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks to reporters after a closed-door security briefing by CIA Director Gina Haspel on the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and involvement of the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, at the Capitol in Washington. VOA

As the Senate considers this week a joint resolution condemning the crown prince for the killing, something that the president would have to sign or veto if passed by Congress, Trump said he would meet with senators.

Trump said he hoped senators would not propose stopping arms sales to the Saudis, deals he has doggedly fought to save ever since the gruesome details of Khashoggi’s murder were leaked by Turkey.

“And I really hope that people aren’t going to suggest that we should not take hundreds of billions of dollars that they’re going to siphon off to Russia and to China,” Trump said.

Also Read: The Khashoggi Killing Creates Differences Between Trump And U.S. Lawmakers

Trump said he could abide by legislation ending U.S. support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, a proxy war with regional rival Iran that has led to a deepening humanitarian disaster.

“Well, I’m much more open to Yemen because frankly, I hate to see what’s going on in Yemen,” Trump said. “But it takes two to tango. I’d want to see Iran pull out of Yemen too. Because – and I think they will.” (VOA)