Forty-seven children were killed or maimed in Yemen’s civil war in January and February following a surge in violence, the United Nations children’s fund said Saturday.
Children are the “first and most to suffer,” UNICEF said, adding that more than 10,000 minors, at least, have been killed or injured in a war that has raged since 2015.
“Just over the first two months of this year, 47 children were reportedly killed or maimed in several locations across Yemen,” Philippe Duamelle, UNICEF representative to Yemen, said in a statement.
“Since the conflict escalated in Yemen nearly seven years ago, the U.N. verified that more than 10,200 children have been killed or injured. The actual number is likely much higher,” his statement said.
In the Ukraine war, at least 71 children have been killed and more than 100 wounded in two weeks since Russia’s invasion on Feb. 24, a Ukrainian parliament official said Thursday.
Hundreds of thousands of people have died as a direct or indirect consequence of Yemen’s war between Iran-backed Huthi rebels and government forces backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.
In November, the U.N. Development Program estimated 377,000 lives would have been lost through fighting, hunger, unclean water and disease by the end of 2021.
“Violence, misery and grief have been commonplace in Yemen with severe consequences on millions of children and families,” Duamelle said.
“It is high time that a sustainable political solution is reached for people and their children to finally live in the peace they so well deserve,” the statement said.
The conflict has caused a collapse in basic services such as health care and education, with millions of people displaced and 80% of the population dependent on aid.
More than 2,500 schools are unusable, according to UNICEF, as they have been destroyed, converted for military purposes, or used to shelter the displaced.
A report released by the U.N. Security Council in January said nearly 2,000 children recruited by the rebels had died on the battlefield between January 2020 and May 2021.