War-torn Yemen's healthcare system has "in effect collapsed" and coronavirus is spreading across the country, the United Nations has warned.
Jens Laerke, spokesman for the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), described the situation as "extremely alarming".
He said people were being turned away from treatment centres partly because staff lacked protective equipment.
The Yemeni authorities have confirmed scores of infections, and 30 deaths.
But the UN says the real figures are almost certainly much higher.
The country's health system has been damaged by years of civil war and ventilators are in short supply.
Millions of Yemenis homeless; many are malnourished, and most of the population depends on aid.
What did the OCHA spokesman say?
Speaking at a briefing in Geneva, Mr Laerke warned that a lack of testing disguised the real infection numbers in Yemen.
"The actual incidence is almost certainly much higher. Tests remain in short supply. Aid agencies in Yemen are operating on the basis that community transmission is taking place across the country."
Mr Laerke said Yemen's economy was also suffering and efforts to combat the pandemic would fail without urgent help.
"If we do not get the money coming in, the programmes that are keeping people alive and are very much esRead More – Source
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Dozens killed in suspected jihadist attack in Niger
Dozens of people were killed in an attack in Niger on Saturday, in a suspected jihadist attack.
The attack took place around 12:00 CET in the Tchomo-Bangou village in Tillabéri, a western region bordering Mali.
“The assailants surrounded the village and killed up to 50 people,” a local radio journalist said anonymously. “The wounded have been evacuated to the hospital in Ouallam.”
It came on the day provisional results for the first round of the presidential election, held on December 27, were released.
Mohamed Bazoum, the candidate for the ruling Party for Democracy and Socialism (PNDS) and a former interior minister, is in the lead with 39.3 per cent of the votes. Bazoum has vowed to strengthen the country’s fight against Islamist groups.
The second round of the election is to be held on February 21.
Niger has been a target for jihadist attacks for years, particularly in the western and southeastern parts of the country.
On December 21, six days before the presidential poll, seven soldiers were killed in Tillabéri. In May 2020, twenty people, including children, were also killed in two of the region’s villages.
Niger votes in presidential and legislative elections
People in Niger began voting in the country’s presidential and parliamentary elections on Sunday.
Mohamed Bazoum, the right-hand man of outgoing President Mahamadou Issoufou is the favourite to win.
The sixty-year-old former interior minister is aiming for outright victory in the first round — something that no candidate has done before.
He’s focussing on security and education.
Over 7 million people are eligible to vote. But some voters, like Gambina Moumouni, simply want a president they can trust.
“We pray to Allah to choose us the president who has the most mercy for the people, a president who will not betray the country and who will not betray the trust of the people, that is our wish. It is also our wish that Allah may help to make the poor, the peasants, the (cattle) breeders happy.
Thirty candidates are standing including two former presidents and two former prime ministers, but according to seasoned observers in the region, the poll is arousing little enthusiasm among the population.
Niger is the world’s poorest according to the UN’s Human Development Index and also one of those hardest hit by climate change.
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