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The three years of war have doubled to 400,000 cases of severe malnutrition among children and have brought health and education systems to the verge of collapse.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned today (25.03.2018) of the danger of a new cholera outbreak in Yemen if humanitarian organizations do not have unconditional access to distribute aid among the population of the troubled Arab country.
Although the number of suspected cases has declined in recent months, more than one million Yemenis have been affected since last year by an outbreak of cholera and acute watery diarrhea.
“Let’s not kid ourselves, cholera will return, the rainy season will start in a few weeks, so if there are not big investments, cholera will hit the people and children of Yemen again,” warned the regional director. Unicef for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, at a press conference in Amman, the capital of Jordan.
Eleven million children need humanitarian aid
Similarly, Cappelaere warned about the humanitarian crisis in which there are about 11 million children, almost all of the minors in Yemen. “Three years of war and decades of chronic underdevelopment have done something with the children of Yemen, nothing good, unfortunately,” Cappelaere said at a press conference in the Jordanian capital, held on the eve of the third anniversary of the start of the military intervention. of the Arab coalition in the country.
The head of Unicef, who has just paid a week’s visit to Yemen, both to rebel areas and those controlled by the authorities, said that the child malnutrition rate has doubled in three years. The Arab country has been ranked among the three worst in the world in rates of child malnutrition, said the head of Unicef. He also indicated that every day five children die or are seriously injured in the country, taking into account statistics for 2017.
A devastating conflict
Yemen, one of the poorest Arab countries, has been mired for three years in a devastating conflict between the government, supported by Saudi Arabia, and the Houthi rebels, backed by Iran.
“We, as Unicef, as a humanitarian community, are losing valuable time (…) discussing the conditions imposed by all parties, which prevents us from delivering humanitarian aid,” denounced the regional director of the organization.
Cappelaere made a visit to Yemen last week, during which he traveled to regions of the north and south of the country that are controlled by antagonistic military forces. “The first task is simple (…) The brutal war against children (must) end, not tomorrow but now,” demanded the UNICEF director, adding that “none of the parties have shown the least respect for children “