Yemeni children paying ‘heaviest price’ as Saudi war turns 2: UNICEF
The United Nations children’s fund has voiced alarm over the plight of the Yemeni children amid the Saudi aggression, saying they are hit hardest by the war with many of them teetering between life and death.
The UN International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) highlighted the suffering of the Yemeni kids in a report titled “Falling through the Cracks,” which was released on Monday to mark the second anniversary of the deadly Saudi offensive on the impoverished country.
“As the war in Yemen completes two years, children continue to pay the heaviest price while families’ coping mechanisms are stretched to their limit,” the report read.
Almost 10 million Yemeni children are currently in need of humanitarian assistance while some 2.2 million of them are acutely malnourished, it further said, adding that quite half a million kids suffer from severe acute malnutrition, up by 200 percent since 2014.
“Malnourished children across Yemen are teetering between life and death…. Cemeteries are filling up with small unmarked graves, the deaths of children unreported to authorities, their suffering invisible to the world,” the UNICEF report said.
It also warned that over 17 million people, which equals to 65 percent of all Yemeni households, are food insecure, meaning that they cannot afford feeding themselves and their children adequately.
Nearly 80 percent of Yemeni families are in debt or are borrowing money just to feed their kids, it added.
“The poorest country in the Middle East, Yemen is now the largest food security emergency in the world,” the report warned, estimating that at least 7.3 million Yemenis need emergency food assistance to survive.
Moreover, UNICEF stressed that education in Yemen has been severely affected by violence with thousands of schools damaged or destroyed in Saudi air raids. It further put the total number of Yemeni children out of school at two million.
Last week, Yemen Red Crescent Society urged the international community to provide more humanitarian aid to the displaced Yemenis as they cannot meet their basic needs.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a brutal military campaign against Yemen since March 2015. The kingdom has also imposed an aerial and naval blockade on its southern neighbor.
Turning a blind eye to the plight of Yemeni civilians, Britain and the US have provided huge amounts of arms and military training to the Saudi forces.
The war by Saudi Arabia, which seeks to restore to power Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, has killed over 12,000 Yemenis, according to recent tallies.