Saudi Arabia has donated $67m to fight the cholera outbreak in Yemen.
Saudi’s new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, who recently replaced his cousin as next in line to the throne, ordered the donation.
“Saudi Arabia is committed to working closely with our aid partners to effectively address the cholera and general humanitarian situation in Yemen,” said Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, an adviser at the royal court and general supervisor of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.
“We will continue to work with our partners across a broad range of humanitarian and relief efforts for the people of Yemen,” he added.
Ironically, Saudi Arabia has contributed to the instability – and by extension the cholera outbreak – in Yemen as part of the Arab coalition participating in the military offensive.
As a result of the ongoing conflict, more than 14.5 million people in Yemen do not have regular access to clean water and sanitation. The sewers in the capital stopped functioning on 17 April, according to the BBC.
And ten days later, cholera had broken out.
The war has also prevented healthcare supplies reaching Yemen’s hospitals, charging the International Committee of the Red Cross to handle 20 percent of the cases.
Over 200,000 people have been affected by the outbreak, which has been declared the “world’s worst” by global health bodies. This figure is expected to rise to at least 300,000 by September, according to World Health Organization (WHO) Senior Medical Consultant Dr. Xavier de Radiguès.
The United Nations Children’s Fund along with WHO has outlined the difficulty controlling the spread of the disease, which is reportedly being contracted by more than 5,000 people in Yemen on a daily basis.
“Cholera is one form of acute, watery diarrhea, a symptom that can be caused by any number of bacteria, viruses and parasites,” Save The Children’s Caroline Anning told the Independent.
“In its most severe form, cholera is one of the swiftest lethal infectious diseases known – characterized by an explosive outpouring of fluid and electrolytes within hours of infection that, if not treated appropriately, can lead to death within hours. In places where drinking water is unprotected from fecal contamination, cholera can spread with stunning speed through entire populations.”
Cholera has already claimed the lives of 1,300 people, a quarter of which were children, officials said.