4.5 Million Yemen School Kids Face Uncertain Future Amid Saudi-Led Aggression: UNICEF
The future of 4.5 million students hangs in the balance,” Rajat Madhok, spokesman of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Yemen, told AFP.
Nearly 500 schools have been destroyed by the conflict, repurposed as shelters or commandeered by armed factions in a war that has killed thousands and pushed the country to the brink of famine.
Meanwhile, nearly three quarters of Yemen’s educators have not been paid for 12 months, according to UNICEF.
Teachers who struggled through a year with little to no pay say they will hold firm to their strike in the year to come.
The UNICEF report comes days after the United Nations added the Saudi-led coalition to a blacklist of child rights violators for causing the deaths and injuries of hundreds of children in war-torn Yemen.
The alliance, assembled by Saudi Arabia in 2015, was added on Thursday to the UN chief’s annual list of shame for killing and maiming 683 children and for 38 verified attacks on schools and hospitals during 2016.
The Saudi-led coalition started the illegal war on Yemen in August 2015 to oust the popular Ansarullah movement and restore to power fugitive Abdul Rabbuh Mansour Hadi who resigned as president and fled to Riyadh. The Saudis have failed to achieve their stated objective and are now stuck in the Yemen quagmire while indiscriminately bombarding the impoverished stated on an almost daily basis.
Over 13,000 people of civilians have died in the Yemen conflict, with Saudi-led coalition air strikes continuing to be the leading cause of civilian deaths, including child deaths.