At least 47 children were reportedly killed or injured in several locations in Yemen in the first two months of this year alone, Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF Representative in Yemen, said in a statement released March 12.
The UN has verified that more than 10,200 children have been killed or injured since conflict first escalated in Yemen in March 2015. “The actual number is likely much higher,” Duamelle said.
Violence, misery and grief have been commonplace in Yemen with severe consequences on millions of children and families.
“Violence, misery and grief have been commonplace in Yemen with severe consequences on millions of children and families,” he continued. “It is high time that a sustainable political solution is reached for people and their children to finally live in the peace they so well deserve.”
Ibrahim practices walking with a balance beam at a UNICEF-supported prosthetic and physiotherapy center in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 14, 2021. Ibrahim, 17, was tending his family’s sheep when he stepped on a land mine. “My sister was shouting ‘Ibrahim! Ibrahim!’. I shouted ‘I have no legs’ and she carried me. She took me home and then the people in my village took me to the hospital.” © UNICEF/UN0538391/Noman
The health and socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have further compounded the humanitarian needs in Yemen. Half the population, including more than 11 million children, requires support to access safe water, health care, nutrition, education and protection.
UNICEF’s ongoing response in Yemen combines direct relief with system strengthening
UNICEF’s ongoing response in the country is a dual approach that combines direct, lifesaving assistance with system strengthening. It is a balancing act integrating humanitarian interventions with development programming, requiring a nuanced approach — and dedicated donor support.
Emad, 11, who was severely injured in an explosion, is held by UNICEF spokesperson James Elder at a UNICEF-supported prosthetic center in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 14, 2021. © UNICEF/UN0538335/Noman
The needs have never been more acute. UNICEF’s program goals in Yemen for 2022 include working with local partners to reach:
- 366,000 children with treatment for severe acute malnutrition
- 2.5 million children and women with primary health care services
- 5.9 million people with critical water, sanitation and hygiene supplies
- 6 million women and children with interventions designed to prevent, respond to and mitigate gender-based violence
UNICEF to those at war in Yemen: Protect civilians
UNICEF continues to call on all parties to the conflict in Yemen — and those with influence over those parties — to protect civilians wherever they are.
“Children’s safety, their well-being and protection must be safeguarded at all times,” Duamelle said.
Top photo: Ramyah, who was injured by war shrapnel, awaits treatment at a UNICEF-supported prosthetics and physiotherapy center in Aden, Yemen, on Oct. 14, 2021. © UNICEF/UN0539882/Mahdi Hussein