Fri, 22 Sep 2023

ADEN, Yemen, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The eight-year war in Yemen has left 11 million children in need of humanitarian aid and 2.2 million suffer from acute malnutrition, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) said on Friday.

More than 540,000 children face life-threatening severe acute malnutrition and are in urgent need of medical treatment, the UNICEF said in a press release.

It warned that the likelihood of malnutrition would keep rising if appropriate measures are not taken promptly.

More than 2.3 million children are living in internally displaced persons camps, where they receive inadequate care due to a lack of medicine and sanitary facilities, the UNICEF said, adding that more than 11,000 children were killed or seriously injured in Yemen between March 2015 and November 2022.

Yemeni families in distress often make harmful decisions for their children, such as child marriage, child labor, or military recruitment. More than 4,000 children have been recruited as soldiers by the various warring factions in Yemen, and hundreds of schools and health facilities were attacked or used by the military, said the UNICEF.

"The lives of millions of vulnerable children in Yemen remain at risk due to the almost unimaginable, unbearable, consequences of the crushing, unending war," UNICEF representative in Yemen Peter Hawkins was quoted as saying.

The organization said it needed 484 million U.S. dollars to continue its humanitarian relief to Yemeni children throughout 2023. If the funding is not secured, UNICEF may have to scale back the vital assistance to Yemeni children who are at risk.

Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating civil war since late 2014, with the Houthi rebels fighting against the internationally-recognized government and its allies, which include a Saudi Arabia-led coalition.

The conflict plunged the Arab country to the brink of collapse, leaving millions of people without access to adequate nutrition.

The UN has been pushing for a cease-fire and peace talks in Yemen.

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