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UNICEF urges action as Yemen grapples with ‘unprecedented’ cholera outbreak

New York (IINA) � Amid an unprecedented increase in suspected cholera cases in war-torn Yemen, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has stepped up its response but warned that time may be running out, UN News reported.

More and more children die every day in Yemen from preventable causes like malnutrition and cholera, said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in a statement on Wednesday.

According to the UNICEF, more than 65,000 suspected cases of the deadly disease have been reported in Yemen, of which about 10,000 were reported in the past 72 hours alone. Some 532 people, including 109 children, have succumbed to the disease over the past month. The numbers are feared to rise as more cases are verified.

Responding to the outbreak, UNICEF has sent in three aircraft carrying over 40 metric tons of lifesaving supplies. It is also helping provide chlorinated drinking water, disinfect wells and set up water filling stations and storage.

But needs continue to increase, with medicines and other vital medical equipment in short supply, said UNICEF.

The situation in Yemen is teetering on the verge of disaster [] over 27 million Yemenis are staring at an unforgiving humanitarian catastrophe. The biggest victims of this man-made tragedy are Yemen’s most vulnerable population � its children, underscored Meritxell RelaAo, UNICEF representative in Yemen.

The international community needs to support long-term investments in social services like water and sanitation. Otherwise, deadly disease outbreaks will strike again and kill many more, she added.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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