Contingency Emergency Response Component (CERC)
ENVIRONMENTAL AND SOCIAL MANAGEMENT FRAMEWORK
In Yemen, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has grown since the first case was reported on April 10, 2020 in the governorate of Hadhramaut; as of July 14, 2020, 1,502 confirmed cases, including 425 deaths, have been reported. Data are hardly reported from the authorities in the Houthi-controlled North. There is a high reported case fatality partly because of the limited number of tests conducted – 7,399 as of July 11, 2020 for the population of 28 million. At the same time, donor funding for Water, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) activities are running dangerously low. Yemen’s WASH systems and services are almost completely reliant on humanitarian assistance; 20.1 million Yemenis will be directly impacted by reduced WASH services which are critical for survival and in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Although there are very significant gaps in knowledge of the scope and features of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is apparent that one main set of economic effects will derive from increased sickness and death among humans and the impact this will have on the potential output of the global economy. The already vulnerable health care system in Yemen is under great strain. Evidence of a decreasing trend in the use of health care services is emerging, with an estimated 25% reduction in general consultations between January to April 2020. The health seeking behaviors are negatively affected by fear because of the perceived poor safety in the health facilities, ill prepared workforce and stigma. There are reports of health facilities closing and turning away symptomatic patients. The health workforce lacks the required personal protective equipment (PPE) and the appropriate knowledge for action. The Yemeni health system is feared to be on a downward spiral and collapse from the multifaceted COVID-19 crisis.
WASH services are essential for preventing diseases, but prevention is not only from the disease itself, but from secondary impacts such as loss of income, malnutrition, as well as compounding risks. Without adequate access to clean water and soap, COVID-19 transmission will be widespread, and the Yemeni’s vulnerability will be exacerbated.
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