At least 12 million children in war-battered Yemen need urgent humanitarian aid, Sara Beysolow Nyanti, UNICEF Yemen Representative, said yesterday.
“Despite the historic gains made for children since the adoption of the Children’s Convention on the Rights of 30 years by the UN General Assembly, Yemen remains among the worst countries for children in the world,” Nyanti said.
“Continuing brutal conflict and a subsequent economic crisis have left basic social services systems across the country on the brink of collapse with far-reaching consequences on children,” Nyanti said.
Nyanti added: “Today, over 12 million-nearly every child- in Yemen is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.”
“Those who bear the responsibility, including the Yemeni authorities have fallen short of their promises and commitments to the children,” she said.
She repeated her urgent “recommit to our accountabilities to help the children of Yemen to survive and grow in a safe and peaceful environment.”
UNICEF said that too many children have been killed by the war. Children have been killed while playing outdoors with their friends, on their way to or from school or in the security of their homes with their families.
Nyanti concluded: “Every day we strive to deliver on our promise to meet the needs and help realise the rights of the children of Yemen. But the purest form of childhood – play, is so often neglected.”
Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
Since then, over 100,000 Yemenis, including numerous civilians, are believed to have been killed, while another 14 million are at risk of starvation, according to the United Nations.