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Yemen crisis taking toll on kids

1 July 2015 11:04


Millions of Yemeni children at risk of diseases, hunger: UNICEF

The current crisis in Yemen, which has aggravated the poor country’s health system, is putting millions of children in the Arab nation at risk of diseases and malnutrition, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warns.

A large number of children in war-torn Yemen are exposed to the threat of diseases due to widespread disruptions in vaccination services, UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told a press briefing in the Swiss city of Geneva on Tuesday.

Boulierac said some 2.6 million children under the age of 15 are now at risk of contracting measles because the lack of electricity and fuel is impacting health centers’ ability to provide children with sanitary services and vaccinations.

He also noted that due to the shortage of vaccinations, the number of children exposed to acute respiratory infections such as pneumonia is also likely to rise to 1.3 million while more than 2.5 million children remain at risk of diarrhoea because of poor hygienic conditions and the lack of safe water.

Over half a million children under five years of age are also at risk of developing malnutrition in the next 12 months if the situation continues to worsen, according to the UNICEF spokesperson.

The remarks came more than three months after Saudi Arabia launched its air aggression against Yemen – without a UN mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

The UN says at least 2,600 people have lost their lives and 11,000 others have been injured due to the conflict in Yemen since March 19.

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