Yemen fighting has devastated millions of children's lives says UNICEF

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Thousands of children are dying from preventable diseases because of the fighting, UNICEF says. Photo: OCHA/Charlotte Cans

The lives of millions of children have been devastated in Yemen as fighting grows "ever more fierce", the UN said Tuesday.

Underlining the need for a halt in fighting ahead of upcoming peace talks, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said that nearly 10 million youngsters are now in urgent need of humanitarian help.

Daniel Johnson reports

Since conflict escalated a year ago between the government and Houthi rebels, more than 900 children have been killed and some 1,300 injured, according to latest figures.

That's nearly seven times higher than in 2014, according to UNICEF's Julien Harneis.

Here he is speaking from the Yemeni capital, Sana'a:

"What continues every day is the shocking toll on children across the country, and the impact …in Taizz city there is vicious street fighting that is leading to children being caught in the crossfire, killed by snipers or random shelling, mortars and artillery, the ground fighting that is ever more intense in Taizz city."

Beyond the direct impact of war, UNICEF estimates that nearly 10,000 children under five years old have died from preventable diseases in the past year.

This is partly because their parents have been too afraid to seek professional help amid continuing airstrikes on homes, markets, water systems, schools and health centres.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 0’58″

 

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