Children’s deaths set to rise in Yemen, UNICEF warns

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Children in Yemen. Photo: UNICEF

At least 74 children have been killed amid an intensification in the conflict in Yemen in the north and south of the country, UNICEF said Tuesday.

The UN children's agency said that its figures are a conservative estimate of the actual number of victims killed since 26 March, when government-backed coalition forces began targeting Shia Houthi rebels.

World Health Organization meanwhile condemned the deaths of volunteer health workers in the country and warned that this could have a serious impact on providing life-saving assistance to millions of people.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Youngsters have been "killed, maimed and forced to flee their homes," UNICEF has reported, as fighting continues between coalition forces and rebels.

Agency spokesperson Christophe Boulierac said that in addition to the 74 known child victims, 44 children had been maimed in the last two weeks.

He said that the conflict had exacerbated an "already precarious" situation for youngsters in Yemen where severe acute malnutrition is widespread.

"Children continue to be killed, injured, displaced and put at increasing risk from disease; these children should be immediately afforded special respect and protection by all parties to the conflict in line with international humanitarian law."

More than 100,000 people have left their homes because of the fighting, UNICEF said, and hospitals have been overwhelmed by mass casualties.

World Health Organization meanwhile deplored the deaths of four medical staff killed since 30 March in separate incidents in the south and north-west tip of the country.

WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier said it was vital that health workers, hospitals and ambulances are treated as "neutral premises" and not used for military purposes.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations

Duration: 1'09"



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