Yemen Death Toll Rising

Yemen Death Toll RisingYemen Death Toll Rising

The death toll in Yemen continues to mount despite a recent five-day truce meant to allow urgently needed humanitarian aid to reach thousands of people trapped by the conflict, aid agencies reported Friday, with  the latest estimates show civilians are being disproportionately affected by the fighting.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said more than 2,000 people have been killed in Yemen, with about half those being civilians, according to the UN human rights office, VoA news reported. The UN agency reported at least 1,037 civilians were killed between March 26 - when Saudi Arabia's airstrikes began - and May 20, shortly after the five-day humanitarian pause ended.

While the temporary truce offered some respite, UN human rights spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly said the fighting never completely ended and has resumed with increased violence, including air raids in Aden and other cities. Pouilly said the situation of people in prisons and rehabilitation facilities is particularly dire and that many of these facilities have been affected by airstrikes or by armed clashes. She said more than 4,000 inmates have fled and several have been killed or injured.

“Conditions in correctional facilities, many of which were already poor prior to the current conflict, have deteriorated considerably," she said. "The general shortage of food and fuel means that prisoners lack means to sufficient food, electricity, water, proper sanitation facilities and necessary health care. There has been a reported outbreak of diseases like scabies and mycosis."

The IOM is launching a regional appeal for $84 million to assist people affected by the conflict in Yemen over the next six months, both within Yemen and in the region.

The appeal would include those who have fled to Djibouti and Somalia. IOM said the situation in Yemen has forced about 20,000 vulnerable people to flee to the Horn of Africa, including refugees from Somalia.

Besides the large death toll, the war in Yemen has injured more than 7,500 and newly displaced more than 550,000 other people.