Alwaght- Nearly 10 million Yemeni children inside the country are now facing a new year of pain and suffering, UNICEF said.
"Continuous bombardment and street fighting are exposing children and their families to a deadly combination of violence, disease and deprivation," said Julien Harneis, the UNICEF representative in Yemen.
"The direct impact of the conflict on children is hard to measure," Harneis said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
The UN statistics showed that 747 children killed and another 1,108 injured since March last year; 724 children pressed in to some form of military activity. The statistics "tell only part of the story. But they are shocking enough in themselves," he said.
Harneis indicated to further effects of conflict on children, who make up at least half of the 2.3 million displaced people in Yemen and nearly half of the more than 19 million people struggling to get water on a daily basis. "1.3 million children under five face the risk of acute malnutrition and acute respiratory tract infections. And at least 2 million children cannot go to school," he added. "Public services like health, water and sanitation have been decimated and cannot meet the people needs."
He also talked about the humanitarian agencies' efforts to alleviate the children's suffering in Yemen last year, including vaccinating more than 4 million children under 5 against measles and polio, and treating 166,000 children against malnutrition. "But so much more is needed. The children of Yemen need urgent help and they need it now," the UNICEF official said.
Harneis called on all parties to the conflict to allow unhindered access to areas affected by the fighting, "where civilians are dying because hospitals are not functioning, medicines are in short supply and children are at risk of dying from preventable diseases."
He concluded his statement by underlining that ending the conflict is what really needed. "Only in that way can the children of Yemen look forward to 2016 with hope rather than despair."
The Saudi regime and its allies began a military aggression against Yemen – without a UN mandate – on March 26 to stop advances of the Ansarullah movement which is backed by the country`s army and Popular Committees. The Saudi regime intends to restore fugitive former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power.
During the last nine months of the Saudi war on Yemen, at least 7,700 people have been killed mostly civilians including women and children.
The illegal war on Yemen has also inflicted damages on hundreds of important installations in the civilian infrastructure including hospitals, schools, mosques, residential quarters, water reservoirs etc.