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Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, with more than 24 million people – some 80 per cent of the population – in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children.
Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, the country has become a living hell for the country’s children. With COVID-19 now spreading rapidly, Yemen is facing an emergency within an emergency.
Sanitation and clean water are in short supply. Only half of health facilities are functioning, and many that remain operational lack basic equipment like masks and gloves, let alone oxygen and other essential supplies to treat the coronavirus. Many health workers are receiving no salaries or incentives, and 10.2 million children do not have access to basic healthcare.
Children continue to be killed and maimed in the conflict, while the damage and closure of schools and hospitals has disrupted access to education and health services, leaving children even more vulnerable and robbing them of their futures. Before COVID-19, around 2 million children were out of school.
Now, because of the pandemic, schools have been closed around the country, leaving some 7.8 million children unable to access education.
As the coronavirus spreads, tens of thousands more children could develop life-threatening severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, while the overall number of malnourished children under the age of five could increase to a total of 2.4 million. Let’s stand altogether side by side and help our brothers and sisters survive this brutal war.