The U.N. refugee agency says that more than 94,000 people have been displaced and forced to flee their homes in several parts of Yemen since January
The U.N. refugee agency announced on Thursday that more than 94,000 people have been displaced and forced to flee their homes in several parts of Yemen since January, a grim statistic reflecting the devastation brought on by the civil war in the Arab world’s most impoverished country.
“The ongoing conflict in Yemen continues to displace people from their homes as they struggle to survive,” UNHCR said in a tweet. The agency said the number of over 94,000 — including at least 15,000 households — were displaced between Jan. 1 and June 6. Only about 5,200 people were able to return to their places of origin in that period, added the UNHCR.
The civil war erupted in Yemen in 2015, when a U.S.-backed, Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive against Yemen’s Houthi rebels who had overrun the capital of Sanaa and most of the country’s north the previous year, forcing an internationally recognized government to flee to the south.
The fighting has killed more than 100,000 people, displaced millions and brought on what the United Nations says is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Many families, especially among the millions displaced, can barely afford one meal a day.
At the same time as the war rages on, Yemen is struggling to battle the coronavirus pandemic — ill-prepared for the fight, with lacking medical services and a healthcare system in ruins. However, authorities have officially reported only 564 cases and 130 deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
The World Health Organization says that there is likely a significant undercount of the total number of people affected by the coronavirus outbreak. Richard Brennan, the WHO’s regional emergency director, said earlier that he believes the COVID-19 deaths are in the hundreds and that the number of cases are in the thousands, based on what he has heard from numerous health sources and medical providers in Yemen.