Two million Yemeni children deprived from education
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) estimates that two million children are out of school in Yemen, which has been the subject of a destructive Saudi-led military campaign for more than four years.
In a statement released on Wednesday, UNICEF representative in Yemen Sara Beysolow Nyanti said that a fourth of the two million Yemeni children have dropped out since the beginning of the Saudi war in March 2015.
As the new school year starts amid continuing violence in Yemen, 2 million children are out of school, including almost half a million who dropped out since the start of the US-Saudi coalition in March 2015.
The education of another 3.7 million children now hangs in the balance as teachers’ salaries have not been paid in over two years.
The UNICEF representative further raised concerns about the future of Yemeni children out of school, saying they “face increased risks of all forms of exploitation including being forced to join the fighting, child labor and early marriage.”
“They lose the opportunity to develop and grow in a caring and stimulating environment, ultimately becoming trapped in a life of poverty and hardship,” she added.
A new government statistics revealed that the losses and material damage to the education sector exceeded 61 billion and 18 million riyals due to the continued targeting of Saudi aggression against schools and educational facilities in Yemen from March 2015 to March 2019.
The statistics of the Ministry of Education confirmed that the aggression destroyed 3526 schools and educational facilities in various governorates which exceeded over than 21% of the educational facilities number operating in Yemen.
It explained that 402 facilities were completely destroyed while 1465 others were damaged. They were used as shelter for citizens whom their houses were bombed by the aggression air strikes, in addition to the closure of 666 facilities.
In March 2015, the US -backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
More than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.