More than 10,000 children have been killed or injured in Yemen since the start of the ongoing conflict, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced yesterday.
"10,000 children in Yemen have been killed or maimed since conflict erupted in March 2015 between the Saudi Arabia-backed government and Iranian-supported Houthi rebels," UNICEF spokesperson, James Elder, said, describing the data as "another shameful milestone."
Elder added that only the cases verified by the United Nations were listed in the report, noting that "many more child deaths and injuries go unrecorded."
The UN official pointed out that four out of every five minors, or more than 11 million children, were in need of "humanitarian assistance". "400,000 Yemeni children suffer from severe acute malnutrition," he added.
The bottom line: children in Yemen are not starving because of a lack of food—they are starving because their families cannot afford food. They are starving because adults continue to wage a war in which children are the biggest losers
The spokesperson noted that more than two million children were out of school. adding that over 1.7 million children and their families were displaced due to the violence.
"A staggering 15 million people – more than half of whom are 8.5 million children – do not have access to safe water, sanitation, or hygiene," Elder said.
Impoverished Yemen has been mired in a civil war since the Houthis ousted the government from power in the capital city of Sanaa in late 2014. The conflict escalated in March 2015 when a Saudi-led coalition intervened to back the Yemeni government against the Iranian-affiliated Houthis.
The conflict has led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis, where more than 20 million people – or two-thirds of the population – depend on aid, according to the UN.