UNICEF airlifts essential supplies to respond to COVID-19 in Yemen as cases increase

In response to the increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Yemen, a UNICEF chartered plane landed at Sana’a airport on Saturday 30 May with lifesaving supplies to help curb the spread of the disease in the conflict-hit country.

The supplies are a range of medical assistance, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items such as aprons, boots, face masks and gloves for frontline health workers

“These supplies will allow our courageous partners the health workers, who are working around the clock, to safely and more effectively address the spread of COVID-19,” said Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “Despite the uncertainty that the pandemic has brought, UNICEF is staying and delivering to reach children and families in need across the country. A robust and sustainable supply chain will allow us to continue doing our share.”

The outbreak of COVID-19 has created an emergency within an emergency in Yemen where only half of health facilities are functional and with almost every child in Yemen (over 12 million in total) already in need of humanitarian assistance, including nearly half a million suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

The PPE items will help at least 1,600 health workers in primary health centres, hospitals and isolation units across Yemen to provide safe primary health care and nutrition services for a period of three months.

More supplies, including COVID-19 testing kits are in the pipeline to arrive into the country in the coming weeks.

These lifesaving supplies were provided with thanks to generous support from the Government of Australia and the International Development Association-World Bank.

As donors convene on 2 June to pledge their support for the humanitarian response in Yemen, UNICEF is appealing for US$50 million to fund its COVID-19 response for children and communities across the country.