“The relentless conflict in Yemen has pushed a country already on the brink deep into the abyss,” warned UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta H. Fore.
“Social services are barely functional. The economy is in ruins. Prices have soared. Hospitals have been damaged. Schools have turned into shelters or have been taken over by armed groups,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are committed to doing all we can to help the children and young people of Yemen but there should be a political solution to the conflict. We all need to give peace a chance. It is the only way forward,” she said.
“I have just come from Aden and Sanaa and I saw what three years of intense war after decades of underdevelopment and chronic global indifference can do to children: Taken out of school, forced to fight, married off, hungry, dying from preventable diseases,” she also said.
Today, 11 million children in Yemen – more than the entire population of Switzerland – need help getting food, treatment, education, water and sanitation, she noted.
Since 2015, more than half of health facilities have stopped working, and 1,500 schools have been damaged due to airstrikes and shelling, she said.
She added that at least 2,200 children have been killed and 3,400 injured. These are only numbers we have been able to verify. The actual figures could be even higher. “There is no justification for this carnage,” she said.
“On Thursday, more than 50 tons of UNICEF medical items, including antibiotics, paracetamol and folic acid, reached Yemen’s Hodeida port from Djibouti and will benefit 250,000 women and children. Prior to this shipment, and before the battle for Hodeida started, UNICEF placed enough supplies to help replenish health centers and provide 500,000 people, including pregnant women, babies and children, with basic health items,” she said.
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