Yemen is one of the most terrifying places in the world to be a child. Children are bearing the brunt of a brutal armed conflict which escalated in March and shows no sign of a resolution. Scores of children are dying every month, while those who survive live in constant fear of being killed. Since the escalation of fighting, basic services have been decimated. Food, medicine and water are all in short supply. Nearly 10 million children – 80 per cent of the country’s under-18 population – need urgent humanitarian assistance. More than 1.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes. Children killed by bullets and bombs can be counted, but countless more risk death from malnutrition or otherwise preventable diseases as essential social services fail.
Nada, 7 years old
“Bombs were falling everywhere and fighting was going on. The house was shaking and we were so scared. We were so afraid that our father wouldn’t get back home from work but luckily he did.”
First the children went by bus to their uncle’s house, in Mokha, but they didn’t feel safe as the house was near a military camp. And so they took the boat and started a two-day journey to Djibouti.
“It was very hard, we were vomiting in the boat andwe couldn’t sleep. We sleep outside, in the open air. Inside the tent is too hot. I dream of being in our house and feel upset when I wake up only to realize that it’s not true. I want to go back home and live a normal life”
Before she fled, Nada’s 4-year old friend, Abdul Rahman was killed by a sniper. “I do not want to die like him”, she says.
The statistics are staggering:
- 3 million people have been forced to flee their homes
- 8 million children are expected to suffer from malnutrition
- 537,000 children under the age of five are at risk of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM)
- 398 children have been killed, 605 children have been injured & 377 children recruited by armed groups
Despite these tremendous needs, our response is grossly underfunded. Only 16% of the funding appeal has been raised so far, making it one of the most under-funded emergencies in the world.