UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, has issued a “Child Alert” for the children of the impoverished country of Yemen. According to the UNICEF report, an average of eight children per day are being killed or maimed by fighting in the country.
The UNICEF report lays out the bleak statistics for these children:
At least 398 children killed and 605 injured as a result since the conflict escalated in March.
Children recruited or used in the conflict has more than doubled – from 156 in 2014 to 377 so far verified in 2015.
15.2 million people lack access to basic health care, with 900 health facilities closed since March 26.
1.8 million children are likely to suffer from some form of malnutrition by the end of the year.
20.4 million people are in need of assistance to establish or maintain access to safe water and sanitation due to fuel shortages, infrastructure damage and insecurity.
Nearly 3,600 schools have closed down, affecting over 1.8 million children.
The near civil war of the country itself, with fighting between those loyal to the president and those loyal to a rebel faction and known as the Houthis, is exacerbated by additional struggles with the notorious Al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP) and the even worse Islamic State Jihadi organization (aka ISIS or ISIL). A BBC report on the crisis in Yemen reports:
Both President Hadi and the Houthis are opposed by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has staged numerous deadly attacks from its strongholds in the south and south-east.
The picture is further complicated by the emergence in late 2014 of a Yemen affiliate of the jihadist group Islamic State, which seeks to eclipse AQAP and claims it carried out a series of suicide bombings in Sanaa in March 2015.
Forced to flee their homes and suffering from malnutrition, the plight of the children of Yemen is horrific.