UNFPA: 20% of Yemen suffers from mental health disorders

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Twenty per cent of people in Yemen suffer from mental health disorders, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Yemen said on Saturday.

In a statement issued on World Mental Health Day, the fund said the figures are based on a study conducted by the Family Counselling and Development Foundation in 2017, noting that the number is likely to have increased due to the coronavirus pandemic and nearly six years of war in the country.

The statement added that the proportion of psychiatrists per population is insufficient, while some of the few existing mental health services have closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It called for “greater investment” in mental health this year since it is “most timely and opportune for Yemen as humanitarian actors tackle the reduction of funding and challenges imposed by COVID-19 that are hampering the scaling up of quality and specialized services for mental health.”

Earlier on Saturday, the Media Officer at the UNFPA in Yemen, Fahimia Al-Fateh, said the fund needs $9 million for the women’s protection programme and psychological support programmes until the end of 2020, warning that if the funding is not received by the end of the month, 21 centres which specialise in psychological support or providing services will close in several governorates, including Ibb, Taiz and Hadhramout.

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