West Asia

10,000 children killed or maimed in Yemen's war: UNICEF

Published : October 20, 2021 12:51 IST

Four out of five Yemeni minors are dependent on humanitarian aid after six years of war. Photo: Mohammed Mohammed/Photoshot/picture alliance

The U.N. children's agency said Yemen had reached a "shameful milestone'' of four children killed or injured every day.

The United Nations children's agency UNICEF said on October 19 that more than 10,000 children have been killed or injured in war-torn Yemen. The country has been ravaged by a war between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the internationally-recognized government, supported by a Saudi-led coalition, for over five years.

UNICEF spokesperson James Elder said its organization estimated the death toll of children in Yemen to be over 10,000, but that the real figure was likely to be much higher. The new numbers amount to some four children killed or injured every day, in what UNICEF called a "shameful milestone'' since a Saudi-led coalition intervened in the war in 2015. Between March 15, 2015 and September 30 this year, a total of 3,455 children were killed and more than 6,600 injured in the fighting in Yemen, U.N. figures showed.

World's worst humanitarian crisis

Countless more children are being indirectly affected in deadly ways by the consequences of war, as Yemen faces the combined troubles of protracted conflict, economic devastation, and crumbling social and health services. According to the U.N., Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with over 20 million people, some two-thirds of the population, in need of aid.

Children are acutely affected, with a total of 11 million dependent on humanitarian aid. That accounts for four out of five Yemeni minors. Additionally, some 400,000 children are suffering from severe malnutrition, UNICEF said. "They are starving because adults continue to wage a war in which children are the biggest losers," Elder said. Over 2 million children in Yemen are no longer going to school, with 1.7 million children and their families having been displaced due to the violence.

jcg/wd (dpa, AP)

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