Agency: 1/4 civilian casualties in Yemen are children


Yemeni children have been living in an endless horrific nightmare for six years. Children are still killed and injured almost daily, said Xavier Joubert, the organization’s director in the country.

The Save the Children report comes on the heels of a UNICEF statement released on Saturday, according to which eight children were killed and 33 injured this month alone.

Filip Dumail, UNICEF Representative in Yemen, said that the casualties occurred in several areas, including the governorates of Taiz and Hodeidah, where fighting between the internationally recognized government forces and the Houthi rebels had intensified recently.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia offered its Houthi rivals a ceasefire plan that includes reopening Sanaa International Airport, which has been besieged for nearly six years. The Houthis played down the importance of the show, claiming that it presented nothing new.

“All parties to the conflict must fully implement the ceasefire as soon as possible,” Jaubert said. “The ceasefire must be used to work towards lasting peace and a political solution to this war – it is the only way to truly end this humanitarian disaster.”

Like other aid agencies, the London-based Save the Children has denounced low levels of funding for relief efforts in the war-stricken country. The organization said its funding to help children in Yemen decreased by more than 40% compared to last year.

If the UN predictions are correct, the worst famine in decades could kill hundreds of thousands of children. “We must do everything we can to prevent this from happening,” said President and CEO Janti Soeripto.

Yemen has been witnessing a civil war since 2014 when the Houthis took control of the capital, Sanaa, and a large part of the north of the country, forcing the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee to the south, and then to Saudi Arabia. A Saudi-led coalition, supported by the United States at the time, entered the war months later to try to restore Hadi to power.

Now mired in a stalemate, the war has killed nearly 130,000 people – including more than 12,000 civilians – and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in a country that was already the Arab world’s poorest.

The Biden administration is keen to stop the war in Yemen. Earlier this month, the US envoy to Yemen, Tim Lenderking, urged the Houthis to accept his ceasefire proposal. However, the rebels are still pushing hard to seize the government stronghold in Marib, central Yemen.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.

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