More than 11 million Yemeni children are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Gert Kabiliari, said on Sunday, adding that Yemen has become one of the worst places for children.
“Today, I find it fair to say that Yemen is one of the worst places on Earth for children,” Kabillari told a news conference at the organization’s headquarters in Amman. “More than 11 million Yemeni children today are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, Yemeni. ”
“Today we estimate that every ten minutes there is a child in Yemen dying from preventable diseases.”
“The war in Yemen is, unfortunately, a war on children, in which nearly 5,000 children were killed and seriously injured in two and a half years, as well as thousands of schools and health facilities were damaged and destroyed,” he said. From acute malnutrition “.
A plane loaded with 1.9 million vaccines landed at Sanaa airport on Saturday, the first aid to reach the Yemeni capital under the control of the Huthi rebels three weeks ago when the Saudi-led military alliance closed all the impoverished country’s ports.
“We welcome the reopening of Sanaa airport on Saturday, which allowed us to send the first humanitarian convoy carrying 1.9 million doses of vaccine,” Kabiliar said.
“There is a need to vaccinate 600,000 children throughout Yemen, once again with diphtheria, meningitis, whooping cough, pneumonia and tuberculosis,” he said.
“Today we need more humanitarian aid and supplies. Yesterday’s supplies can not be enough.”
“UNICEF ships are on their way to the port of Hodeidah, carrying fast-food curative food, assistance for malnourished children, chloride tablets to ensure sterile drinking water, and medical supplies to support the prevention and treatment of acute diarrhea and cholera.”
The UN official appealed to “all parties responsible for the situation today in Yemen to take responsibility now.” “You have to shoulder your responsibilities now, not tomorrow,” he said.
In addition to the aid plane, three other WFP and International Red Cross planes carrying relief crews also landed at the capital’s airport on Saturday.
Since 2014, Yemen has witnessed a bloody conflict between Huthi rebels and government forces. The capital Sana’a fell into the hands of the rebels in September of the same year.
The conflict escalated as Saudi Arabia led a military alliance in March 2015 after the Houthis gained control of vast areas of the poorest Arab peninsula.
The Yemeni conflict left more than 8,650 dead and caused a severe humanitarian crisis.
The military alliance controls air traffic and ships in areas under rebel control, and only allows aid to enter airports and ports in these areas.
But for the past three weeks, the alliance has imposed a total blockade on Yemen, preventing aid from entering after the Houthi rebels launched a ballistic missile on November 4 intercepted over Riyadh airport.