More than 200 children killed in Yemen in 2017: UN
MAARIB, YemenMore than 200 children have been killed in war-battered Yemen this year, a United Nations official said on Aug. 7.
“In 2017, 201 children killed in Yemen: 152 boys and 49 girls,” Meritxell Relano, UNICEF Resident Representative in Yemen, said on Twitter.
She said 347 Yemeni children were maimed, including 113 girls, and that 377 boys were recruited in the ongoing fighting in Yemen this year.
The U.N. official’s statements came a few days after the rebel Houthi group accused the Saudi-led coalition of killing 12 civilians, including children, in an attack in the northern province of Saada.
Relano said four girls and two boys aged between 2 and 14 years had been killed in the attack, but without holding any party responsible for the attack.
At least 1,546 children have been killed and 2,450 others injured in the three-year conflict in Yemen, according to UNICEF figures released in March.
Impoverished Yemen fell into civil war in 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in 2015 aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled government.
Over 3 million people have fled their homes since the onset of the conflict, and more than 20 million throughout the country are in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
Saudi Arabia has pledged $33.7 million to help the World Health Organization eradicate cholera in war-wracked Yemen, where the disease has killed nearly 2,000 people, the WHO said on Aug. 6.
Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the organization, confirmed that Saudi Arabia, which leads an Arab coalition battling rebels in Yemen, had signed an agreement committing the funds to help the WHO battle the spread of cholera.
The oil-rich Gulf kingdom, in a statement on Aug. 3, said the money committed to WHO was part of an overall effort to combat the cholera outbreak in Yemen.
Riyadh said it also pledged $33 million to the UN’s children agency, UNICEF, for a project to improve water and sanitation facilities which are “drivers of the epidemic”.
A top U.N. official in Yemen said reported airstrikes in which at least 12 civilians were killed, including children, were an example of the “disregard” for civilians’ safety shown by all the combatants in Yemen’s civil war.
The civilians were killed and 10 others wounded in Sa’ada province after attacks on a house and a private vehicle, the U.N’s Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said, citing reports from fellow aid groups.
Reuters reported on Aug. 4 that three women and six children from the same family were killed in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on their home in the area, according to a local health official.
A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition did not respond to a request for a comment.