Yemen national blood bank faces threat of closure

A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
People donate blood in the National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
A man donates blood in National Blood Transfusion and Research Centre in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Aug. 9, 2017. The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support. Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

CAIRO — The director of Yemen's national blood bank says the facility could shut down within a week after a medical aid charity ended its support.

Ayman el-Shihari, the blood bank's general director, said Thursday its closure could lead to a "humanitarian catastrophe." He says the facility receives up to 3,000 cases monthly, including patients with cancer, thalassaemia, kidney failure and war wounds.

El-Shihari says Doctors Without Borders, known by the French acronym MSF, ended its two-year funding and asked the World Health Organization to help. He says so far the clinic has received none and supplies are running out.

Yemen has been crippled by a two-year war led by a Saudi-led coalition aiming to dislodge Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels who control the capital and much of the north.

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