(photo credit: JPOST STAFF)
UNITED NATIONS - Top United Nations officials on Wednesday slammed the warring parties in Yemen and their international allies for fueling an unprecedented deadly cholera outbreak, driving millions closer to famine and hindering humanitarian aid access.
Since the end of April, the World Health Organization said there have been more than 320,000 suspected cases of cholera - a disease that causes uncontrollable diarrhea - and 1,742 deaths across more than 90 percent of the Arabian Peninsula country.
UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council on Wednesday the toll was likely much higher as aid workers could not reach remote areas of the impoverished, war-torn country.
"This cholera scandal is entirely man-made by the conflicting parties and those beyond Yemen's borders who are leading, supplying, fighting and perpetuating the fear and the fighting," O'Brien said.
He called on the 15-member Council to "lean much more heavily and effectively on the parties and those outside Yemen" to end the conflict and humanitarian crisis.
A Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in Yemen's civil war in 2015, backing government forces fighting Iran-allied Houthi rebels. The country, which relies heavily on imports for food, has become one of the UN's top humanitarian crises.