Children paying ‘heaviest price’ of Yemen conflict, UNICEF warns amid reports of escalating violence

9 August 2016

Four children were reportedly killed and three were injured on 7 August in the Nihm District, east of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in a statement today.

“Children are paying the heaviest price of the conflict in Yemen,” said Julien Harneis, UNICEF representative in Yemen, who added that UNICEF deplored such acts and urged all parties to exercise maximum caution and avoid civilian infrastructure.

He said that since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015, UNICEF was able to verify that 1,121 children had been killed and another 1,650 were injured. “The actual numbers are likely to be much higher,” he added.

“UNICEF urges all parties to the conflict in Yemen to adhere to international humanitarian law and keep children out of harm’s way,” said Mr. Harneis.

Meanwhile at UN Headquarters in New York, Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq, responding questions from reporters, told the daily press briefing that Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is deeply concerned about reports of increased fighting between various parties in Hajjah, Sa’ada and Sana’a provinces, including over the past few days.

“We are unable at this time to independently verify reports of civilian casualties. What is clear, however, is that the reported escalation in fighting exacerbates the already dire humanitarian and human rights situation and the suffering of the Yemeni people,” he added.

Following nearly a year and a half of conflict in Yemen, the cessation of hostilities was declared on 10 April and has since continued to provide relief from violence in many parts of the country. But serious violations have occurred in Marib, al Jawf, Taiz and in the border areas with Saudi Arabia.


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