Children "bearing brunt" of Yemen violence, says UNICEF

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Children face recruitment by armed groups, UNICEF says. Photo: OCHA

Growing insecurity in Yemen threatens children who are already among the most vulnerable on earth, according to UNICEF.

Figures from the UN agency indicate a sharp spike in the number of children killed or maimed in attacks in 2014 compared with a year earlier.

The development follows attacks on mosques in Sana’a in recent days which killed at least 137 people including 13 children.

The country's youngsters already have serious problems with among the highest rates of child malnutrition in the world.

Daniel Johnson has more:

The spiralling violence risks setting back hard-earned gains for Yemeni children as competing forces fight for control of the country, UNICEF said.

The UN agency cited a 40 per cent increase in the number of boys and girls killed or maimed in 2014 compared with 2013.

Although figures have yet to be released, UNICEF said that attacks on schools and hospitals had doubled over the same period.

Meanwhile, the recruitment of children in armed groups was up 47 per cent from 2013 to 2014.

Here's UNICEF spokesperson Christophe Boulierac:

“All the achievements that we had during the last 20 years are now completely threatened."

In addition to increasing rights violations, UNICEF believes preventable disease is a real threat.

That's because as the government only has enough money to pay for two more months' vaccinations.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 0'54"


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