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Saudi-Led War Killed, Maimed More Than 11,000 Children in Yemen: UNICEF

The United Nations highlighted on Monday that more than 11,000 children are known to have been killed or maimed during the war on Yemen that started nearly eight years ago.

“The true toll of this conflict is likely to be far higher,” indicated the children’s agency UNICEF about the casualties of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The agency said that “at least 74 children were among the 164 people killed or injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance between July and September alone.”

On her part, UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell pointed out that “thousands of children have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands more remain at risk of death from preventable disease or starvation.”

The agency said about 2.2 million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished, one-quarter of them aged under five, and most are at extreme risk from cholera, measles, and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

UNICEF’s latest numbers confirm 3,774 child deaths between March 2015 and September 2022.

A UN-brokered truce lasted for six months until October 2, but warring parties then failed to agree on an extension, as the coalition of aggression continued its violations and bombings and refused to end the arbitrary siege imposed on the country to ease the Yemeni people’s suffering. Since then, at least 62 children have been killed or wounded, noted UNICEF.

“The urgent renewal of the truce would be a positive first step that would allow critical humanitarian access,” said Russell, adding that “ultimately, only a sustained peace will allow families to rebuild their shattered lives and begin to plan for the future.”

According to UNICEF, “more than 23.4 million people, or three-quarters of the population, require assistance and protection. More than half are children.”

It mentioned that only half of all health facilities in the country are functional, leaving almost 22 million people, including around 10 million children, without adequate access to care.

UNICEF also warned that Yemen is facing “a severe education crisis, with tremendous long-term consequences for children,” highlighting that two million Yemeni children currently are out of school, which could rise to six million, as at least one out of four schools are destroyed or partially damaged as a result of the war.

UNICEF appealed for $484.4 million in funding to tackle the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

“If the children of Yemen are to have any chance of a decent future… all those with influence must ensure they are protected and supported,” stressed Russell.

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