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UNICEF: 4.5m Yemeni children deprived of an education

April 19, 2017 at 11:54 am

Yemeni children draw on the walls of University of Sana’a to react to the ongoing war in the country on March 15, 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

The last two years of war in Yemen has deprived a generation of Yemeni children of an education, the UNICEF warned this month.

The risk faced by millions of children preventing them from pursuing an education often involve being married off as child brides or recruited as child soldiers for the war which has killed over 10,000 people so far.

Read: Yemen close to ‘breaking point’

Speaking at a press conference in the Shia Houthi rebel-controlled capital Sana’a, UNICEF representative in Yemen, Mertixell Relano, explained how three-quarters of teachers are forced to work months with unpaid salaries meaning up to 4.5 million children cannot finish the school year.

At the moment we have more than 166,000 teachers in the country that have not received a salary since October last year. This is more or less 73 per cent of the total number of teachers in the country.

“Those children that are not in school, they are at risk of being recruited [for military service], or the girls might be at risk of being married earlier,” Relano further explained.

The economic crisis began last year when the internationally-recognised government shifted Yemen’s central bank from Sana’a, previously controlled by the armed Houthi rebel group, an Iranian proxy in Yemen opposed to the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.


Seven months of salaries currently remain in arrears according to public sector employees in the Houthi-controlled northern lands have said making travel to work and paying for basic necessities very difficult.