News ID: 209319
Published: 0219 GMT February 03, 2018

UN: Saudi-led coalition killed 68 children in Yemen last summer

UN: Saudi-led coalition killed 68 children in Yemen last summer

The Saudi-led coalition that is fighting in Yemen is responsible for the deaths of scores of children since last summer, a United Nations report said.

Al Jazeera obtained excerpts from the confidential report by the UN Office on Children and Armed Conflict, which was sent to the UN Security Council on January 19.

According to the excerpts, the Saudi-led coalition killed 68 children and wounded 36 others from July to September 2017.

The report found there were at least 20 coalition raids every day — some targeting schools and homes.

Saudi Arabia, together with several other Arab nations, launched a military campaign against Yemen in March 2015.

The Saudi-led intervention initially consisted of a bombing campaign and later saw a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces into Yemen.

The UN describes the situation in Yemen as "the worst manmade humanitarian crisis" in the world, with the ongoing conflict making an already dire situation worse.

Shabia Mantoo, spokesperson for the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said thousands in Yemen are in desperate need of aid.

"It's not just affecting children. It's affecting everyone. It's affecting 75 percent of the population. So our concern is that as long as this conflict continues, we're going to see more and more casualties. We're also going to see the humanitarian needs rise as well.

"So, children, women, the elderly, people with particular vulnerabilities; they are suffering the most in Yemen at the moment," Mantoo said.

According to the UN children's agency, UNICEF, more than 5,000 children have been killed or injured in the war — an average of five children a day — since the conflict escalated in March 2015.

UNICEF also says that more than 11 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance and nearly two million children are suffering from acute malnutrition.

In addition to a massive cholera outbreak, Yemen has also seen outbreaks of diphtheria in recent months.

Suze van Meegen, spokesperson of Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Yemen, said it is time the international community wakes up to the humanitarian situation in the country.

"It is astounding to me that we have the United Nations Security Council that has not commented on Yemen in, now more than seven months. The scale of suffering in Yemen is incomparable. We have 22 million people in need.”


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