Hundreds of children killed or maimed in deadly month-long fighting in Yemen--UNICEF

SANA'A, YEMEN, AMMAN, JORDAN and GENEVA, April 24, 2015 /CNW/ - At least 115 children have been killed and 172 maimed as result of conflict in Yemen since 26 March, UNICEF said today.

Conservative estimates on the immense impact of the conflict on children indicate that at least 64 children have been killed by aerial bombardments, 26 by unexploded ordnance and mines, 19 by gunshots, three by shelling and three by unverified causes related to the conflict. In the north of the country, 71 children have been killed, while 44 have been killed in the south.

The United Nations children's agency believes that these are conservative numbers as the verification process is ongoing. The total number of children killed or maimed in Yemen's conflict is likely to be higher.

"There are hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen who continue to live in the most dangerous circumstances, many waking up scared in the middle of the night to the sounds of bombing and gunfire," said Julien Harneis, UNICEF Representative to Yemen. "The number of child casualties shows clearly how devastating this conflict continues to be for the country's children. Without a speedy end to the violence, children will be unable to lead normal lives."

UNICEF also confirms that during the same time period, at least 140 children have been recruited by armed groups, while 23 hospitals were attacked and 30 schools were damaged or occupied by parties to the conflict.

As the conflict enters its fifth week, children remain the most vulnerable. Urgent action is needed to end grave violations against children, including their recruitment and use by armed groups, with parties to the conflict meeting their obligations under International Law. All parties must refrain from damaging civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and medical facilities, and ending the occupation of schools.

About UNICEF:
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

SOURCE UNICEF Canada

For further information: Tiffany Baggetta, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8892, 647-308-4806 (mobile), tbaggetta@unicef.ca

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