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SANAA, The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have expressed concern over the increase in suspected cases of cholera in Yemen as the rainy season approaches and humanitarian conditions deteriorate.

In a joint statement, the UNICEF's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Khairat Kabalari, along with WHO's Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, reported that 109,000 cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhea in Yemen have been reported, since the beginning of the year until March 17, while 190 death cases due to the disease since January were reported, adding that about one-third of the victims of reported cases are children under the age of five.

In their joint statement obtained by the Yemeni news agency Saba,they renewed the call for an end to the fighting, saying that "The time has come for this four-year war to end and If that does not, Yemen will remain stuck in the claws of disease and evil while plunging deeper into endless humanitarian disasters, while those most vulnerable will pay the most expensive price."

The statement called for lifting all restrictions on their humanitarian operations to stop the spread of cholera and acute watery diarrhea, including intensified fighting, restrictions on aid delivery and bureaucratic sanctions which put barriers inf front of bring life-saving supplies and aid staff to Yemen.

It pointed out that the collapse of basic services, including water supply systems, water systems and poor sanitation systems, the use of polluted water for agriculture, the lack of electricity for food storage, and the displacement of families fleeing violence, particularly in Hodeidah and Taiz help to outbreak this disease.

The statement stressed that humanitarian teams must have full access to every child, every woman and every man who needs medical and other humanitarian assistance.

It underscored the commitment of UNICEF and WHO to continue to expand the response to prevent the spread of the disease and to do everything in their power to avoid the 2017 scenario, including the resorting to effective measures in a timely manner.

Source: Yemen News Agency

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