UNICEF: The Lives of Millions of Children Are in Danger as Yemen Approaches the Brink of Famine
The United Nations Children’s Fund “UNICEF” confirmed that the lives of millions of children in Yemen are in “great danger” as Yemen gets closer to the brink of famine.
In a statement issued on Monday, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said, “Yemen is slowly moving towards what the Secretary-General of the United Nations described as” the worst famine the world will see in decades, “which means that the risk to children’s lives is greater than ever before.
“The warning signs have been clear for a very long time. There are more than 12 million children in need of humanitarian assistance,” she added.
The UN official stated that Yemen’s economy is faltering and its health system reached the brink of collapse years ago. In addition, its vital public infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed by the fighting, and there is a flagrant and shocking disregard for international humanitarian law.
She explained that chronic poverty, the decline of the wheel of development, and more than five years of conflict that is still ongoing, made children and their families vulnerable to a deadly mixture of violence and disease, pointing out, “However, we cannot hold back the tide indefinitely.”
The UNICEF Executive Director indicated that humanitarian aid alone will not prevent the occurrence of famine and will not put an end to the crisis in Yemen. The most important thing is to stop the war, support the economy, and increase the resources provided to Yemen, stressing, “There is absolutely no room for wasting time.”
She emphasized that the children of Yemen need peace, and the brutal conflict must stop in order to return to childhood life and eventually be able to rebuild Yemen.
According to the statement, acute malnutrition rates among children in some areas of Yemen have reached new high levels, where an increase of 10 percent was recorded this year only.
It was reported that about 325,000 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition, and more than five million children are at increased risk of contracting cholera and acute watery diarrhea.
The statement emphasized that the Covid-19 pandemic has turned the profound crisis into an imminent humanitarian disaster.