In early April 2018, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reported that the Yemen crisis had become the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
– Approximately three quarters (equivalent to over 22 million) of Yemen’s population were in dire need of humanitarian assistance and protection.
– Of this 22 million, 11.3 million are children. Nearly every child in Yemen is affected by the crisis.
– UNICEF reported that an average of five children were killed or injured every day since the escalation of hostilities in March 2015.
– 18 million people in Yemen are food insecure. This number includes 8.4 million people who ‘do not know how they will obtain their next meal.’
– Over 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished.
– Not only is food an issue, millions of people in Yemen do not even have access to safe drinking water.
– Last year alone, unsafe drinking water resulted in over a million cases of diarrhoea and cholera. Children under the age of 5 accounted for a quarter of all reported cholera cases.
– Over two million children do not attend school. As Edward Santiago from Save the Children concluded in early 2016 ‘An entire generation of children – the future of Yemen – is being abandoned to their fate.’ Two years after that statement, the situation of children in Yemen has only deteriorated to the point that their future seems bleak.
In all walks of life in Yemen, even treatable illnesses become a ‘death sentence.’ According to Guterres, one child under the age of five dies of preventable causes every ten minutes. In the time it takes to read this article, a Yemeni child has died from an illness that would not result in fatalities in other countries.
And until the war is concluded, there will be no sustainable solution to this humanitarian crisis, driven by conflict.