Yemen: More than 11,000 children killed or wounded in war-torn country since 2015

Yemen: More than 11,000 children killed or wounded in war-torn country since 2015
Over 11,000 boys and girls have been killed or wounded in Yemen since 2015 when the conflict between the Saudi-backed government and Iran-aligned Houthis began.
2 min read
12 December, 2022
Yemen remains one of the largest humanitarian crises in the world, with around 23.4 million people in need of assistance [source: Getty]

More than 11,000 children have been killed or wounded in the conflict in Yemen since 2015, the UN Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) said on Monday, a week after it launched a multi-billion global funding drive.

Yemen's Saudi-backed government and the Iran-aligned Houthis have been escalating an economic war amid stalling UN-led efforts for a new truce since an earlier pact expired on October 2, leading to more humanitarian pain.

"The urgent renewal of the truce would be a positive first step that would allow critical humanitarian access," Executive Director Catherine Russell said as UNICEF reported over 11,000 boys and girls killed or injured since 2015.

The agency however pointed out this number was likely to be "far higher", as these are only the UN-verified deaths.

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Although the warring sides had in April agreed to a nationwide truce, UNICEF said 164 people were killed or injured by landmines and unexploded ordnance between July and September, among whom at least 74 were children.

UNICEF last week launched a $10.3 billion Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal for 2023 to assist children affected by conflicts and disasters worldwide.

It aims to raise nearly $484.5 million throughout the year for Yemen, where about three quarters of the population need assistance and protection.

"Thousands of children have lost their lives, hundreds of thousands more remain at risk of death from preventable disease or starvation," Russell said.

UNICEF estimates that almost 540,000 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition in Yemen.

It noted that more than 17.8 million Yemenis also lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services, as only half of the country's health facilities are functional.

This leaves around 10 million children without adequate access to care, it said.

The UN and partners earlier this month appealed for a record $51.5 billion in aid money for 2023, a 25 percent increase on 2022 and more than five times the amount sought a decade ago.