24 Apr 2015
The violence in Yemen has killed at least 115 children in the last month and 140 youngsters have been recruited to fight by “all armed groups”, UN agencies said Friday.
Amid an increasingly dire humanitarian outlook for people across the country, children’s agency UNICEF said that 71 have been killed in the north and 44 in the south since late March.
The UN’s food and health agencies meanwhile spoke of widespread fuel shortages which risked disrupting aid deliveries and life-saving work in hospitals.
Daniel Johnson has more.
In a bleak assessment of the situation in Yemen, UNICEF made a plea to warring parties to respect international law and protect children.
Spokesperson Christophe Boulierac told journalists in Geneva that its estimate of 115 children killed was “in reality” almost certainly higher.
And he said that “all armed groups” continued to recruit children.
“UNICEF demands that urgent action be taken to end grave violations against children including their recruitment and use by armed groups. All parties to the conflict must protect children at all times, neither target nor use schools and hospitals…”
As renewed fighting enters its fifth week between government forces and Houthi rebels, the children’s agency reported that 30 schools have been damaged or occupied and 23 hospitals attacked.
Recently, UNICEF said that one-third of combatants in Yemen were under 18 years old.
UN agency World Health Organization meanwhile expressed alarm at fuel shortages which threatened the transport of already scarce medical supplies and vaccines.
And World Food Programme said it had enough fuel for two weeks, though the shortages were affecting families already who had nothing to cook with.
Daniel Johnson, United Nations