Sun Jul 23, 2017 08:08AM
Wolfgang Jamann (C), the secretary-general and CEO of CARE International, gives a press conference in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, July 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
Wolfgang Jamann (C), the secretary-general and CEO of CARE International, gives a press conference in the Yemeni capital Sana’a, July 22, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

International humanitarian agency Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) has voiced alarm at the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, calling the situation a "shame on humanity".

"We are now in the 21st century and the current situation is an absolute shame on humanity," the head of the NGO Wolfgang Jamann told reporters on Saturday after a five-day visit to the country.

"Sixty percent of the country is food insecure and over half the population is unable [to access] safe drinking water," he said.

"Many areas in Yemen are just one step away from a famine situation," the body's CEO said, urging the international community to "end the suffering".

Ravages of war

He also touched on the massive bloodshed and destruction which has been plaguing the country since Saudi Arabia began bombing the country in 2015.

More than 12,000 people have died, and much of the country turned into death traps for civilians since the onset of the invasion, meant to restore Yemen’s former Saudi-allied government. More than 44,500 people are estimated to have been wounded.

The US and the UK have been providing the bulk of the military ordnance used by Saudi Arabia in the war. The UK has licensed 3.3 billion pounds worth of weapons since the beginning of Saudi Arabia's war on Yemen in March 2015.

The US also sealed a multibillion arms deal with Saudi Arabia when President Donald Trump made his maiden visit abroad in May. The deal, which is worth $350 billion over 10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately, was hailed by the White House as a significant expansion of the security relationship between the two countries. 

"Thousands of civilians have died since the start of the conflict and millions more have been displaced inside the country," Jamann said.

Yemen is currently in the grip of a cholera outbreak that has killed 1,828 people since it erupted in late April. On Friday, the World Health Organization said the number of suspected cholera infections in the Arab world’s most impoverished country had risen to nearly 370,000 as of July 19.

A Yemeni child suspected of being infected with cholera is checked by a doctor at a makeshift hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the northern district of Abs in Yemen's northwestern Hajjah Province , July 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The charity Oxfam, on the other hand, said the number of suspected cases of cholera could rise to more than 600,000, making the epidemic "the largest ever recorded in any country in a single year since records began."

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