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    People inspect the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, Aug. 25, 2017

    Number of Suspected Cholera Cases in Yemen Passes Threshold of One Mln - ICRC

    © AP Photo / Hani Mohammed
    Middle East
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    The current epidemic in Yemen is the largest cholera outbreak in modern history, as more than 80 percent of the citizens are lacking access to clean water, food supplies and healthcare, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday.

    The number of people infected with cholera in Yemen has exceeded one million, the ICRC reports.

    The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that on average, some 5,000 people were falling ill daily, with children under 15 accounting for 41 percent of all suspected cases while people over 60 represented 30 percent of fatalities. Currently, a child under the age of 5 dies every 10 minutes of preventable causes.

    The spread of disease is exacerbated by starvation and unsanitary conditions in the country, as Saudi Arabia tightened the blockade of Yemen, which hampered the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the civilians.

    The current epidemic is the largest cholera outbreak in modern history. A spike in cholera cases began in October 2016 and then after a period of decline the outbreak resumed in April. As of August 24, over 540,000 suspected cholera cases had been reported, with over 2,000 associated deaths.

    The blockade came as a response to a missile launch from Yemeni territory and was aimed at preventing the Houthis from receiving arms supplies from abroad, as Saudi Arabia accused Iran of supplying Yemeni rebels with short-range ballistic missiles.

    READ MORE: ‘No Hope’ for Children in Desperate Yemen Cholera Epidemic: 4000 New Cases Daily

    Yemen has been engulfed in a bitter conflict between the government and Houthi rebels supported by the army loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh since 2015, with a coalition backed by Saudi Arabia conducting an aerial operation in the country at the request of incumbent President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

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    cholera outbreak, famine, death, Yemen
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