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Statement by Commissioner Stylianides on the unprecedented cholera outbreak in Yemen

Woman and child in Yemen
The latest outbreak of cholera in Yemen has killed at least 315 people, Yemeni authorities have declared a state of emergency. © EU/ECHO

In light of an intensifying cholera outbreak, Commissioner Stylianides expresses EU support for the people of Yemen.

"As Yemen is facing a fast spreading cholera outbreak of unprecedented scale the EU is increasing its response with further funding to help those in need.

This is the second outbreak in less than a year to hit the war-ravaged country already facing one of the largest humanitarian crises. The international community must not overlook the crisis in the country.

To help, the EU has now made available €3.8 million to deal with the outbreak. This assistance will allow our humanitarian partners to rapidly increase their capacity to treat people and save lives. This is part of our overall funding of €116.7 million for Yemen in 2017.

What matters at this crucial time is for all parties to allow full access to humanitarian organisations to deliver aid and carry out their relief efforts. Delays and restrictions, as well as an escalation of fighting would further threaten the lives of civilian population.

It's essential that basic commodities, including much needed medical supplies but also food, enter the country at the earliest possible time.

The European Union remains fully committed to helping the most vulnerable in need in Yemen."


Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East and North Africa, and one of the poorest in the world. Political instability, armed conflicts, poor economic performance and chronic underdevelopment are at the heart of the complex and multi-faceted crisis Yemen is facing. Yemen has now become the largest food insecurity emergency in the world with almost 7 million people at risk of famine. The current conflict has exacerbated the existing humanitarian crisis and over 18.8 million people are now in need of humanitarian assistance.

To date, the latest cholera outbreak has killed at least 315 people, prompting Yemeni authorities to declare a state of emergency. Since April 27, almost 30 000 suspected cases of cholera and acute watery diarrhoea have been reported.

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