The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says that every day eight children in Yemen are killed or injured in Saudi attacks.
Unicef’s director for the Middle East and North Africa, Geert Cappelaere, questioned on Monday that the peace agreement on Yemen, signed on 13 December in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, has not achieved concrete changes for children in the Arab country.
“Since the signing of the pact, eight children have been killed or injured every day (…) Most of the children killed were playing outdoors with their friends, heading to school or returning from school,” he said.
Cappelaere has also noted that 1.2 million children continue to live in 31 active conflict zones in Yemen, so he has asked for $542 million to meet their needs in 2019.
The regional director of UNICEF, which is in the Swiss city of Geneva to participate in a conference on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, has urged all parties to the conflict to end violence at points of access to the poorest country in the Arab world.
The Stockholm peace agreement, signed between the Yemeni popular movement Ansarola and the militiamen associated with the former fugitive Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi, backed by Saudi Arabia, also culminated in a ceasefire, which entered into force on 18 December in the Yemeni city of Al-Hudayda and its port, key to the arrival in the country of humanitarian aid and imports to the country devastated by war.
Although the Ansarola fighters fulfilled their part of the pact, Saudi Arabia and its US-backed mercenaries continued to bomb residential areas of Yemen, especially the strategic Al-Hudayda, to prevent the implementation of the Stockholm agreement.
According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), four years of conflict in Yemen have caused “the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis”, with some 22 million people in need of help to survive and several million others suffering from famine. Children have suffered the most.
A report published on 11 December by the Armed Conflict Location and Events Data (Acled) project states that the aggression launched in March 2015 by Saudi Arabia and its allies against Yemen has left more than 60,000 civilians dead.