Middle East/North Africa

UN says more than 10,000 kids have been killed or injured in Yemen war

A family in Yemen
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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that over 10,000 kids have been killed or injured in the Yemen war.

“The Yemen conflict has just hit another shameful milestone: 10,000 children have been killed or maimed since fighting started in March 2015. That’s the equivalent of four children every day,” UNICEF spokesperson James Elder told reporters on Tuesday.

Yemen’s civil war began in 2015 between Yemeni government forces and Houthi rebels. 

Earlier this month, the U.N. Human Rights Council narrowly voted to end its war crimes investigation in the region, the first time a resolution was defeated in the history of the council.

The United Nations says that Yemen, which was already the poorest country in the Arab region before the conflict, is now facing the “largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” with over 80 percent of the population in need of humanitarian aid and protection.

Since the conflict escalated in 2015, Yemen’s gross domestic product dropped by 40 percent, Elder said. 

Elder told reporters that over 11 million children in Yemen — or 4 out of every 5 children — need humanitarian assistance. More than 2 million children are out of school, with an additional 4 million at risk of dropping out.

Further, over 1.7 million children are internally displaced because of the violence. About 15 million people, including 8.5 million children, do not have access to safe water sanitation or hygiene, Elder continued.

“The bottom line: children in Yemen are not starving because of a lack of food—they are starving because their families cannot afford food,” Elder said. “They are starving because adults continue to wage a war in which children are the biggest losers.” 

Tags children UNICEF yemen civil war

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