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GENEVA/SANA'A, Yemen, Oct. 2, 2015 /CNW/ - Six months of unremitting violence in Yemen has left at least 505 children dead, 702 injured and more than 1.7 million at risk of malnutrition, UNICEF said today. Across the country, nearly 10 million children – 80 per cent of the country's under-18 population – need urgent humanitarian assistance. More than 1.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes.
"With every day that passes, children see their hopes and dreams for the future shattered," said UNICEF Representative in Yemen Julien Harneis. "Their homes, schools and communities are being destroyed, and their own lives are increasingly threatened by disease and malnutrition."
Even before the conflict, the nutrition situation was dire as Yemen produces less than 10 per cent of its food needs and relies heavily on imported foodstuffs. But the escalation of the fighting has caused food insecurity to spiral and malnutrition to spike.
The consequences for children are dramatic:
Food shortages and poor access to markets caused by the conflict, reduced access to health facilities and sanitation, and the disruption of livelihood opportunities are the main causes for the deterioration. The scarcity of fuel, electricity, gas, water and other services and utilities is further exacerbating the situation.
Meanwhile, the last six months have seen a growing number of attacks on civilians and vital infrastructure.
Despite these extremely challenging conditions, UNICEF and its partners have been at the centre of humanitarian operations since the beginning of the conflict. The response has focused on providing drinking water and sanitation, education and child protection services as well as treatment of children with malnutrition, diarrhoea, measles and pneumonia.
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, 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.
SOURCE UNICEF Canada
Image with caption: "A boy pushes a wheelbarrow filled with jerrycans in Sana'a, Yemen's capital. Finding safe water in the midst of conflict has become a daily struggle for survival for more than 20.4 million people. (CNW Group/UNICEF Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20151002_C5438_PHOTO_EN_512683.jpg
For further information: To arrange interviews or for more information please contact: Tiffany Baggetta, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8892, 647-308-4806 (mobile), [email protected]
UNICEF is the world’s leading humanitarian organization focused on children. We work in the most challenging areas to provide protection, healthcare and immunizations, education, safe water and sanitation and nutrition. As part of the United Nations, our unrivaled reach...