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Yemen’s Cholera Epidemic Continues to Spread

Yemen’s cholera epidemic has now infected half a million people:

The number of suspected cases of cholera resulting from an epidemic in war-torn Yemen has reached 500,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) says.

At least 1,975 people have died since the waterborne disease began to spread rapidly at the end of April.

The cholera epidemic in Yemen was already the worst on record three weeks ago when there were more than 360,000 infected, and the epidemic has spread to almost half again as many people since then. In just four months, Yemen has suffered from a larger cholera epidemic than Haiti did earlier this decade during an entire year. Like Yemen’s other overlapping humanitarian disasters, the cholera epidemic is man-made and was entirely preventable. The coalition war has devastated the country’s infrastructure and health care system, the blockade is depriving the country of basic food and medicine needed to stave off both starvation and preventable disease, and the “legitimate government” caused a collapse in public services in rebel-controlled areas with the decision to relocate the central bank. I’ll quote something here that I wrote at the start of this year:

The Hadi government and its coalition and Western backers have inflicted all of this on the civilian population of Yemen for more than twenty-one months in the service of an atrocious war effort that has failed in all of its stated objectives.

Unfortunately, U.S. and coalition policies have not changed at all in the seven months since I wrote that, and conditions in Yemen have significantly worsened in the meantime.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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