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Calls to protect children in Yemen have failed, admits UNICEF

Yemeni children sell household objects to customers at Salt Bazaar in capital Sanaa, Yemen on January 22 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud - Anadolu Agency]
Yemeni children sell household objects to customers at Salt Bazaar in capital Sanaa, Yemen on January 22 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud - Anadolu Agency]

UNICEF’s Regional Director of Media said on Tuesday that her organisation’s calls for a peaceful reconciliation between the warring parties in Yemen in order to protect children have failed, Arabic.rt.com has reported.

“Since the start of the conflict in Yemen, we have been calling for a peaceful reconciliation in order to protect children and to lessen their suffering,” said Juliette Touma. “As of today, the continuous calls of UNICEF have not been answered. We call tirelessly for an end to this war on children in Yemen for which adults are responsible.”

According to a UNICEF press release, nearly half a million children have dropped out of school since the 2015 escalation of conflict in Yemen, bringing the total number of out-of-school children to 2 million. “Almost three quarters of public school teachers have not been paid their salaries in over a year, putting the education of an additional 4.5 million children at grave risk.”

Read: 2,100 child soldiers recruited in Yemen

Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen, explained that “an entire generation” of children in Yemen faces a bleak future because of limited or no access to education. “Even those who remain in school are not getting the quality education they need.”

According to the “If Not In School” NGO, “More than 2,500 schools are out of use, with two thirds damaged by attacks, 27 per cent closed and 7 per cent used for military purposes or as shelters for displaced people.”

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