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    Tuesday, May 9, 2017

    Thirty-four people have died of cholera,2000 fell ill in Yemen

    Thirty-four people have died of cholera-related causes and more than 2,000 have been taken ill in less than two weeks in Yemen, the World Health Organization said on Tuesday.

    “There have been 34 cholera-associated deaths and 2,022 cases of acute watery diarrhoea in nine governorates, including Sanaa, during the period of April 27 to May 7,” a WHO official told AFP.
    This is the second wave of cholera-associated deaths in a year in Yemen, where a deadly war has destroyed hospitals and left millions of people struggling to access food and clean water.
    The WHO now classifies Yemen as one of the worst humanitarian emergencies in the world alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq.
    Conflict in Yemen has escalated over the past two years, as the Saudi-supported government fights Iran-backed Huthi rebels for control of the impoverished country.
    The United Nations, which has called Yemen “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world”, estimates that more than 7,000 people have been killed since 2015 and three million displaced.
    Some 17 million also lack adequate food, with one third of the country’s provinces on the brink of famine. Now, after months of uncertainty, he appears to be edging toward a decision on whether to honour the landmark 2015 agreement to limit global warming.
    A key White House meeting scheduled for Tuesday to discuss whether the United States will honour the Paris accord was postponed, with no new date set.Dramatic improvements are needed in ensuring access to clean water and sanitation worldwide, the World Health Organization said Thursday, warning that nearly two billion people currently use faecal-contaminated water.

    Hundreds of thousands of people die each year because they are forced to drink contaminated water, the WHO said, urging large investments to help provide universal access to safe drinking water.
    “Today, almost two billion people use a source of drinking-water contaminated with faeces, putting them at risk of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio,” Maria Neira, who head’s WHO’s public health department, said in a statement.
    “Contaminated drinking-water is estimated to cause more than 500,000 diarrhoeal deaths each year and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis and trachoma,” she added.
    In 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — a series of aspirational targets for eradicating poverty and boosting human wellbeing, including vowing to ensure universal access to safe and affordable water and sanitation by 2030.
    But according to a fresh report Thursday, published by WHO on behalf of UN-Water, countries will fall far short of this goal if they do not radically increase their investments.
    The report welcomed the fact that countries had on average raised their annual budgets for water, sanitation and hygiene by 4.9 per cent over the past three years.
    But 80 per cent of countries acknowledge that their financing is still not enough to meet their nationally-set targets for increasing access to safe water and sanitation, it found.
    “In many developing countries, current national coverage targets are based on achieving access to basic infrastructure, which may not always provide continuously safe and reliable services,” WHO warned in a statement.
    The World Bank has meanwhile estimated that investments in infrastructure will need to triple to $114 billion per year — not including operating and maintenance costs — in order to meet the SDG targets.
    “This is a challenge we have the ability to solve,” said Guy Ryder, Chair of UN-Water and head of the International Labour Organization.
    “Increased investments in water and sanitation can yield substantial benefits for human health and development, generate employment and make sure that we leave no one behind,” he added.
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    Item Reviewed: Thirty-four people have died of cholera,2000 fell ill in Yemen Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar