New WHO-KSRelief partnership to support delivery of essential health services in Yemen

File photo shows the World Health Organization with the support of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action providing medical supplies to Yemen, including 107 dialysis machines.

WHO and KSRelief started the implementation of a new project; aiming at supporting the delivery of essential health services in Yemen.

Funded at $20.5mn, the project is part of a broader $46mn agreement between the two organizations, signed in September 2020, that also included three other projects, respectively on COVID-19 preparedness and response, nutrition, water and environmental sanitation services.

Under this new award, the Health Cluster will receive support for information management, the functionality of the emergency operation centers and operational costs of the cluster coordination offices, benefiting to up to 5.1mn people.

Priority districts

Critical support to the Minimum Service Package (MSP) will be provided; including in 15 hospitals located in priority districts. As defined by a health needs-based assessment, to improve the Yemeni population’s access to secondary care.

The MSP support includes but is not limited to reproductive and maternal health. It also strengthened preparedness capacity and improving the capacity of the health staff and pre-hospital and referral care; targeting up to 1.8mn people.

KSRelief has been the main funding partner of WHO in 2019–2020. Since October 2019, the partnership between the two organizations has helped preserve the health system in Yemen, including through support to the most vulnerable.

Provision of lifesaving medicines

Continuous support from KSRelief allowed WHO to facilitate the provision of lifesaving medicines; including treatment for patients with chronic, life-threatening conditions, such as kidney failure. The partnership has also supported child immunization programs and assistance to pregnant women for safe birth deliveries.

Yemen remains the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and the WHO’s most complex operation. Some 24.3mn people — 80% of the population — now require humanitarian assistance or protection.

The health system is on the brink of collapse. More than 17.9mn people (out of the total population of 30mn) need health care services in 2020. At the same time, only half of the health facilities are fully functioning. Those that remain open lack qualified health staff; essential medicines; and medical equipment like masks and gloves, as well as oxygen and other necessary supplies.

The Yemen Health Cluster is responding to the health consequences of the conflict and severe economic downturn in Yemen simultaneously alongside the COVID-19 pandemic.

To prevent indirect mortality from vaccine-preventable and treatable diseases, the Health Cluster committed to maintaining essential health services and systems as emphasized in the 2020 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan extension and as outlined in the COVID-19 Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan (SPRP).

The Health Cluster has prioritized providing essential lifesaving health services based on the Minimum Services Package (MSP).