Yemeni children lives at stake by aid funding shortfall: UNICEF
On the eve of the eight-year anniversary of the Saudi-led coalition's war on Yemen, the UN warns it could be forced to slash support for children in Yemen without a funding boost.
The UN warned Friday it could be forced to slash support for children in Yemen, a war-torn country where it said dozens already lost their lives daily from "preventable causes", without a funding boost.
"More than 540,000 children under the age of five (are) suffering life-threatening severe acute malnutrition, with one child continuing to die every 10 minutes from preventable causes," the UN children's agency UNICEF said.
These remarks were published in a statement ahead of the eight-year anniversary of the Saudi-led aggression on Yemen.
On March 25, 2015, Saudi Arabia announced launching the coalition's aggression on Yemen, claiming "to defend and support the legitimate government of Yemen," plunging the country into the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
Economic blockade, demolished infrastructure, and millions of people at risk of starvation. The #Saudi-led coalition continues to carry out raids and shelling of a number of #Yemeni provinces as the country faces the world's worst humanitarian crisis. #StandWithYemen pic.twitter.com/PIBEODgtU8— Al Mayadeen English (@MayadeenEnglish) January 26, 2022
Eight years on, more than 350,000 were killed, more than 19 million are facing hunger, and millions of oil and gas barrels have been looted, as the country is still facing a strict siege and is casually shelled by the Saudi coalition and its allies.
"If funding is not received, UNICEF might be forced to scale down its vital assistance for vulnerable children," the statement added.
Since the war started, it is reported that at least 11,000 children have died or maintained injuries.
A total of 11 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance, UNICEF said.
The UN gathered only $1.2 billion for all of its agencies in Yemen at a pledge conference in Switzerland last month, well short of the $4.3 billion aim, despite stating that it needs $484 million to continue aid this year.
"The funding gap UNICEF continued to face through 2022 and since the beginning of 2023 is putting the required humanitarian response for children in Yemen at risk," it said.
The Saudi-led aggression has triggered what the UN describes as one of the world's worst humanitarian tragedies.
The UN acknowledged that more than 21.7 million -- two-thirds of Yemen's population -- need humanitarian assistance this year.