UNICEF called on the international community to focus its attention on the impending humanitarian disaster in Yemen, with malnutrition and the possibility of disease outbreaks increasing due to the continuing conflict and violence in the country.
According to Marixie Mercado, UNICEF spokesperson in Geneva, the likelihood of outbreaks of deadly diseases such as measles is increasing as electricity and gas shortages compromise the viability of vaccines, especially in rural areas.
Children in communities displaced by conflict are those particularly afflicted with malnutrition. Yemen’s malnutrition rate is among the highest in the world.
Even before the conflict, the country was already struggling to offer basic education to two-thirds of its children, Mercado said. But due to the civil strife, children in Yemen have lost almost two months’ worth of schooling.
The agency also confirmed that four children were killed and 18 injured in the latest spate of violence on Sept. 18 and 19.
Yemen has been at the center of a wave of civil uprisings — or the Arab Spring — since February. Its government, however, responded with a violent crackdown on demonstrations.
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