A report has said that one child is dying every 10 minutes from "preventable causes", including malnutrition, cholera, diphtheria and - of course - the war itself in Yemen.
Children under the age of five are the most vulnerable to the dire conditions caused by the Saudi-backed war and blockade. These children, according to the United Nations, are being abandoned to “stare death in the face”. The report said that 80% of children are now "in desperate need of aid".
A child’s brain is 90% developed by the time they are five. For their brains to develop to the full potential, they need to have the proper care, protection, safety, stimulation and nourishment. Stunting occurs when a child has not had access to these in the formative years.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called for an end to air and ground assaults in Yemen.
“Yemen today is also the country with almost the highest level of malnutrition. What has happened in the last two and a half years throughout Yemen has only exacerbated what was already a very sad reality,” Guterres stated.
He added “Today we estimate that every 10 minutes a child in Yemen is dying from preventable diseases. The massive and unprecedented outbreak of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera this year is no surprise. The war in Yemen is sadly a war on children. Close to 5000 children have been killed or seriously injured the last two and a half years alone.”
Two million children have also had their education disrupted and hundreds of schools have been damaged or destroyed.
Millions of people are suffering in the appalling humanitarian crisis that has gripped Yemen. Huge numbers are at serious risk of stunted growth, which could irrecoverably affect their potential to develop physically and educationally. Yet, according to this report, the hardest-hit are the very young ones.
The Saudi-led war on Yemen has caused millions of people to be displaced, malnourished and fighting deadly diseases. The number of cholera cases is expected to reach 600,000 by the end of 2017.