Two men collect water from a water point in Yemen
Community members collecting water from the water point constructed by Concern in Al-Salam IDP site. Photo: Ammar Khalaf/Concern Worldwide

Concern responding to cholera outbreak in Yemen

Lifesaving clean water and other essential aid have been provided to people on the frontlines of a major cholera outbreak in conflict-torn Yemen.

The emergency response from Concern Worldwide, with funding from Irish Aid, follows a deadly outbreak of cholera, which has infected over 40,000 people since last October. There have also been 134 cholera and diarrhea related deaths over the last eight months. 

Concern rehabilitated water wells and installed 34 toilets to improve sanitation conditions in displacement camps, and distributed hundreds of cholera prevention hygiene kits to families, which include items like soap, washing powder, and water purification tablets.

Of the wells Concern rehabilitated, one well at the Al-Salam camp for displaced people in Aden was hand dug and was not able to supply water to the camp.

The Al-Salam well now has a solar-powered pump and supplies clean water to the local community where many people were previously getting water-borne illnesses. 

One of the displaced people living in the camp told Concern that the charity’s relief effort is “timely as cholera is also converging and we don’t want our children getting sick and dying from cholera.”

In addition to water and sanitation support, Concern set up and trained a team of 45 “community health volunteers” across six health facilities in the Tuban and Al-Milah districts in Lahij in southern Yemen. These volunteers deliver cholera related messages, nutrition screening and refer people to the nearest health facilities for treatment.

“The poor living conditions combined with limited access to safe water and sanitation services have been leading to a high prevalence of waterborne diseases,” said Concern’s Yemen Country Director Victor Moses.

“Yemen remains one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world, with an estimated 18.2 million people (55 percent of the population) in need of assistance."

“An estimated 4.5 million people are currently displaced, most of whom have been displaced multiple times over a number of years."

“The support we have been able to provide has already improved many lives.”

There have been over 4,000 cholera related deaths recorded from a previous outbreak in Yemen between 2016 and 2021. 

Concern began operations in Yemen in December 2023, with programs focusing on health and nutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene, primarily for displaced communities.