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UN warns 320,000 pregnant women at risk due to lack of funding in Yemen

May 12, 2020 at 11:48 am

A baby receives treatment at the Sabaeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on 18 January 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) yesterday warned that as many as 320,000 pregnant women in Yemen will lose access to life-saving reproductive health services due to the lack of funding.

The UN agency said in a statement that nearly 90 per cent of UNFPA’s reproductive health services could be closed by July due to a lack of funding which would deprive as many as 320,000 pregnant women access to the health care they need.

According to the statement, only 20 per cent of the health system provides maternal and child health services in Yemen, while estimates indicate that a woman dies every two hours due to complications related to pregnancy or childbirth.

At the beginning of 2020, the UNFPA appealed for $100.5 million to support humanitarian operations in Yemen. The UN agency managed to obtain only 41 per cent of that amount, leaving it with a financial gap of $58.8 million.

READ: WHO: Coronavirus spreading across communities in Yemen

Later, it has appealed for an additional $24 million to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, protect health workers and provide maternity health care in Yemen.

UNFPA’s acting representative in Yemen, Nestor Owomunhangi, said: “Our priority is to ensure that access to reproductive health care for these women is not disrupted and that they are protected from violence and abuse during these difficult times.”

“We can, however, only do so if funding is available,” he added.