Dire funding crisis in Yemen could force lifesaving health facilities to close
In Yemen, lifesaving reproductive healthcare services for more than one million women are threatened, thanks to severe funding shortages, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said on Friday.
According to the agency, although donors made humanitarian pledges worth $2.6 billion in February, less than half has been received.
Every two hours, a Yemeni woman dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and another 20 suffer preventable injuries, infections or disabilities.
UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem, said that unless more funds are found immediately, women and their babies could be at risk.
By the end of August, 100 of the more than 260 hospitals UNFPA supports had closed; it says that another 75 will shut by the end of this month.
The closures will directly affect some 650,000 women and more than one million would be at risk if all facilities close, the agency has warned.
Hurricane Dorian: death toll expected to rise as thousands remain missing
As the UN and other aid partners respond to huge humanitarian needs in the hurricane-struck Bahamas, latest reports indicate that the death toll is likely to rise considerably.
To date, 30 people are confirmed to have died after Hurricane Dorian hit the islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama last weekend with maximum wind speeds of 297 kilometres per hour - that’s 185 miles per hour.
But the Government says that thousands are still missing after the Category 5 storm brought with it a storm surge of 18 to 23 feet high (5.5 to seven metres).
Here’s Dr. Ian Norton, who heads the World Health Emergency Medical Teams Initiative, speaking in Geneva:
“We certainly expect the death toll to rise, I can’t tell you what that would be, but we’re really worried about it…What we see, and what we’ve seen unfortunately in this devastating storm surge, especially in a stationary storm produces what you could see maybe after a tsunami. And what we don’t see in those cases is injuries as such, we see unfortunately a lot of people drowned and losing their lives drowning or surviving.”
Latest information suggests that some 76,000 people are homeless on the worst-hit islands.
UN launches initiative to promote understanding in Malian communities
To Mali finally, where a trial project is under way to help aid workers get a better understanding for the needs of communities vulnerable to escalating violence and armed extremists.
The initiative is run by OCHA, the UN’s aid coordination wing.
It relies on a local individual going into villages and asking people what they want most.
Here’s Bikima Ag Ibnou, who’s has been a “community mobilizer” for OCHA in Timbuctu for four months:
“So when I’m talking with the people, I think that people learn something from me. Like when I’m asking them, I’m getting information from them about what they need and make monthly reports …in order to give a better response…The youth, they ask for training and education.”
The project comes amid attacks by armed groups and militias, against both Government forces and UN peacekeepers in the centre and north of the country.
According to OCHA, the number of people displaced in Mali has doubled in the last year, to nearly 170,000.
Daniel Johnson, UN News.