COVID-19 Impact on Yemen Update
Created: 09/04/2020 +

Overview

COVID-19 is yet to be confirmed in Yemen, however, the likelihood of its spread is high as cases in surrounding countries continue to grow: 2,752 in Saudi Arabia, 1,832 in Qatar and 756 in Bahrain. The country’s infrastructure has been devastated by five years of conflict, leaving little capacity to respond. Only 51% of health centres are fully functional. Current conflict escalation, displacement and overcrowding make it difficult to implement protection measures (social spacing, hand washing). Over 3.6 million people have been displaced since the start of the conflict. Over one third live in camps and informal settlements which are overcrowded and lack proper access to sanitation. Poor media and lack of trust in public institutions makes it challenging to deliver behaviour change messaging. Yemen ranks 168 of 180 on the 2019 World Press Freedom index. Yemen relies on imports for 80 to 90% of its basic needs, making it particularly vulnerable to disruptions in the world economy.