The increasing death toll for Yemeni children announced by the United Nation’s Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) shows a frightening reality of persistent conflict. The UNICEF said Monday that 900 children were killed during the armed conflict in Yemen last year.
“In the past year, the United Nations verified a significant increase in grave violations against children by all parties to the conflict in Yemen,” UNICEF said in a statement.
Yemen has remained in turmoil since September 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to flee the city.
“The incidents that the United Nations was able to verify represent the tip of the iceberg, but they do reveal some very concerning trends,” the statement added.
On account of the intensification of the clashes between Yemeni army backed by Saudi Arabia and Houthis militias, the number of children death was increased seven times comparing with the whole of 2014, according to a previous UNICEF report.
Internal conflict in the country turned into a sanguinary war after March 15, 2015. Shortly after, Saudi Arabia led a military coalition that formally intervened with a massive air campaign aiming at reversing Houthi gains and restoring Hadi’s embattled government in March 25th.
Although Iran did not formally announce its support of the Houthi rebels' actions towards the dissolution of parliament made against President Hadi, the militant group has received extensive military support from Iran over the years.
The United Nations, which is involved in efforts to end the conflict, hopes the current cessation in hostilities will lead to a more concrete, formal ceasefire with confidence-building measures.
Yemen has more than 26 million residents, 20 million of the population are in need of aid, 13 million are facing food shortages and 9.4 million are having difficulties accessing drinking water.