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UNICEF: ‘Yemeni conflict deprived millions of children of education’

September 26, 2019 at 4:08 am

People walk among the rubble of a school after it was hit by Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen [Reuters/Khaled Abdullah]

As the new school year begins amid Yemen’s ongoing violence, two million children remain out of school, including nearly half a million who have dropped out of school since the conflict escalated in March 2015, the organisation revealed in a statement published by Anadolu Agency.

The education of other 3.7 million children has become on the verge of suspension, as teachers’ salaries have not been paid for more than two years, according to the statement.

“Conflict, delayed development and poverty have prevented millions of children in Yemen from their right to education and their hope for a better future,” the statement quoted UNICEF Representative in Yemen Sara Beysolow Nyanti.

“Violence, displacement and attacks on schools prevent many children from reaching their schools,” Nyanti added.

She further stated that “Thirty years after the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, it is unacceptable that education and other fundamental rights of the child are out of reach for children in Yemen, all due to Man-made factors.”

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“With teachers’ salaries still not being paid for more than two years, the quality of education is also on the verge of deterioration,” the statement continued.

The statement added that “The current conflict in Yemen has escalated for more than four years, and has devastated the country’s already fragile educational system. One in five schools in Yemen can no longer be used as a direct result of the conflict.”

The organisation stressed on the need to halt the attacks on educational facilities to protect children and teachers.

The UNICEF also stressed that education authorities across Yemen should work together and find an immediate solution to provide salaries to all teachers and education staff so that children can continue their education.

For the fifth year in a row, Yemen has been witnessing a war between pro-government forces and Houthi militants who are accused of receiving Iranian support and who have controlled provinces including the capital Sanaa since September 2014.

The raging fighting in Yemen in 30 fronts has led to the death of 70,000 people since the beginning of 2016, according to UN estimates on 17 June 2019.