Since the fighting in Yemenbegan four years ago, 7,300 children have been killed or seriously injured, said the UNICEF Executive Director in her briefing to the UNSecurity Council Wednesday.
The fighting still ragesacross 30 active conflict zones – home to nearly 1.2 million children, Henrietta Fore told the Council.
"Since the fighting in Yemenbegan four years ago, 7,300 children have been killed or seriously injured," she added. "These are verified numbers. The actual numbers are no doubt higher.
"Each day, another eight children will be killed, injured or recruited to the fighting.Every 10 minutes, another child will die from a preventable cause.
"Like a lack of food, with 360,000 children sufferingfrom severe malnutrition. In fact, half the children under fiveyears old in Yemen –2.5 million – are stunted.And stunning is irreversible," according the UN official.
Yemen has been racked by a 4-year bloody conflict between the internationally-recognized Yemeni government's forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who ousted the government in 2014.
"The UN has verifiedthe recruitmentand use of over 3,000 childrenby all parties to the conflict since the conflict began," said the UNICEF head."That number is likely much higher. A flagrant and outrageous violationof international law."
"More than two million children are out-of-school. And one in five schools have been damaged or destroyed in the fighting. A huge blow to their future potential."
"Yemen – already one of the least-developed countries before the war – has lost an additional two decades' worth of development gains since the war began."
"We are at a tipping point. If the war continues any longer, the country may move past the point of no return."
"While the ceasefire has largely held in Hodeida, other areas are seeing a rise in violence – in Abs, Hajjah, Taiz, Dhalea and elsewhere," said Fore, noting that "hospitals, clinics and water systems are in ruins."
"We call on the Council to speak with one voice,"Fore urged the UNSC, "to protect the children of Yemen and stop grave violations against them.
"Fifteen million children in Yemen are asking you to save their lives. "Please help them. They need peace."
"We urge all parties to the conflict to open doors to immediate, long-term humanitarian access, and to allow days of tranquility to vaccinate and help children," she said. "If we cannot reach them, we cannot keep them alive."
Yemen 4-year war has triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.
The conflict has lefttens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands injured, and 3 million displaced.