The death toll from a cholera outbreak is approaching 1,000 in Yemen, the war-devastated and impoverished country where "humanity is losing out to politics," a senior UN official said Thursday.
— WHO Yemen (@WHOYemen) June 19, 2017
Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, said, "Time is running out to save people who are being killed or being starved, and now you have cholera adding to the complication."
Speaking at a press briefing in Jordan, McGoldrick said, "We are struggling because of the lack of resources. We need some action immediately."
TRT World's Rahul Radhakrishnan reports
McGoldrick gave updated figures of more than 130,000 suspected cases of cholera and over 970 deaths, with women and children accounting for half of the numbers.
"What is heartbreaking in Yemen is that humanity is losing out to the politics," McGoldrick said.
He said a $2.1 billion humanitarian response plan for Yemen for 2017 had only been funded by 29 percent.
Things fall apart
The cholera outbreak on top of famine in Yemen was "an indication of how things are falling apart with only 50 percent of health services" operational.
"We need resources, we need money and we need them now to address the famine and to address the problems of cholera,” McGoldrick added.
Donors in April pledged close to $1.1 billion in aid to Yemen, which the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs calls the "largest humanitarian crisis in the world."
But only 25 percent of aid pledged to the UN refugee agency has been delivered so far, UNHCR's Yemen spokesperson Shabia Mantoo said on Wednesday.
The vulnerable population
Children are more likely than adults to contract cholera and more likely to die of it too.
The charity Save the Children says a child is being infected with the disease every 60 seconds in Yemen
Cholera spreads through contaminated water and food. UN says at least 14.5 million people in Yemen lack clean water and sanitation
Yemen's war has seen more than 8,000 people killed and millions displaced since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015 to support the government against Shia Houthi rebels allied with Iran.