Saudi-led war in Yemen has left 85,000 children dead – report
While much of the media remains focused on US-Saudi relations in the wake of the Khashoggi killing, a new report by Save the Children highlights the devastating impact that these countries’ joint war effort has had on millions of society’s most vulnerable members. Using UN data, the charity now estimates that 85,000 children under the age of five may have died from extreme hunger or disease since the war in Yemen began three years ago.
Save the Children says it hopes that the horrific figures will help to push for talks to end the devastating conflict. The new statistics cover the period since April 2015, when Saudi Arabia began airstrikes fearing the rising power of Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthis.
The report suggests that the Saudi alliance’s air and land blockade is the primary reason for the grim developments, particularly given its continued heavy bombardment near the port of Hodeidah, through which Yemen imports 90 percent of its food supply, as well as critical foreign aid. Save the Children’s country director in Yemen, Tamer Kirolos, warns that around 150,000 children are currently at risk in the port city due to a dramatic increase in artillery shelling.
“Parents are having to witness their children wasting away, unable to do anything about it,” Kirolos said.
The UN reports that at least 6,800 civilians have already been killed and 10,700 injured in the conflict, alongside a massive cholera outbreak affecting over a million people. Last month, they warned that 14 million people, around half of the population, are facing pre-famine conditions.
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