The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday that more than 6 million children in Yemen are at risk of missing out on education as armed conflict in the country continues into its seventh year.
UNICEF said that more than 2 million Yemeni children, both boys, and girls, have already dropped out of school due to poverty, conflict and lack of opportunities.
The UN organisation added that more than 170,000 teachers (two-thirds of the teachers in Yemen) have not received their salaries regularly for more than four years due to the conflict and geopolitical divisions, prompting them to look for other ways to provide for their families. This will put an additional four million children at risk of disrupting their education and dropping out of school.
"Conflict has a profound impact on all aspects of children's lives, but access to education gives them a sense of normalcy even under the most difficult conditions and protects them from all kinds of exploitation," said Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. "That is why keeping children in school is essential for their future and the future of Yemen."
The UNICEF statement warned that the effects of the ongoing conflict, in addition to the recent disruption of education activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, will have devastating and long-lasting effects on the educational process, as well as the psychological and physical safety of children and adolescents in Yemen.