Today’s map comes from the European Commission. It shows an alarming cholera outbreak is spreading in Yemen in exactly the same places that are suffering most from food insecurity. To date, there have been over 11,000 cases of cholera detected over the last three weeks.
Cholera is a deadly disease that can spread fast through communities, particularly ones that do not have access to clean water. The thing is, cholera is also very easy and inexpensive to treat–oral rehydration salts can prevent people from dying of dehydration. But treating cholera requires a modicum of access to health care. Herein lies the problem.
Since the outbreak of conflict, health care facilities have been routinely targeted. Hospitals have been bombed and humanitarian corridors shut down. To make matters much, much worse food insecurity is reaching pre-famine levels in much of the country. (To learn more about the conflict-famine nexus, list to my conversation below with Joost Hiltermann of the International Crisis Group.)
So now, we have a situation where the areas most affected by Cholera are also the most insecure. Unless there is a de-escalation of the conflict, these numbers will only get worse.