50,000 children die every year in Yemen: Ansarullah
Iran Press TV
Saturday, 14 March 2020 7:15 AM
Yemen's Houthi Ansaruallh movement says the years-long Saudi-led war and blockade on the impoverished Arab country has increased the infant mortality rate alarmingly.
The Ansarullah said Thursday the ongoing Saudi military aggression against Yemen has fueled famine, poverty and diseases, resulting in the deaths of 50,000 children annually, many of whom are under a month old.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a deadly military aggression against Yemen in an attempt to reinstall a Riyadh-backed former regime and eliminate the Houthi movement, which has been defending the country along with the armed forces.
The Western-backed offensive, coupled with a naval blockade, has destroyed the country's infrastructure.
It has also led to the world's worst humanitarian crisis in Yemen, with many children suffering from cholera and severe malnutrition.
Children are among the most vulnerable victims of the Saudi war on Yemen, but the issue has barely drawn any international response.
Back in February last year, UN chief Antonio Guterres said tens of thousands of children under the age of five had died of starvation in Yemen ever since Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies launched their aggression.
Also in November, Yemeni Minister of Public Health and Population Taha al-Mutawakel announced that every 10 minutes, a child under the age of five died from extreme hunger in the war-ravaged country.
On Thursday, spokesperson for Yemen's health ministry Saif al-Hadri criticized the inaction of the international community, saying none of the leading global powers has taken any serious initiative to force Saudi Arabia to lift its economic siege and work towards bringing the war to an end.
Hadri described the situation of Yemen's children as "disastrous in the shadow of war", pointing out that "approximately five and a half million children under the age of five are suffering from malnutrition".
He went on to say that "one child dies every ten minutes in Yemen", adding that 80 percent of children in Yemen live in a state of stunting and anemia due to malnutrition.
"Two hundred thousand women of childbearing age or some of them are pregnant or have given birth to malnourished children, which threatens the lives of children," he added.
The Saudi aggression has displaced millions and left 24.1 million -- more than two-thirds of the Yemeni population -- in need of humanitarian assistance, including more than 12 million children.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 91,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
Thousands in need of food, shelter
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said this week that the Saudi war has displaced tens of thousands of people, forcing them to move to Yemen's northern city of Ma'rib where they are without food, shelter and access to medical care.
"I've met people from all over the country who fled to M'arib. Some have been here for days, others for weeks, months or years. The lucky ones have joined family and friends while others have been forced to leave everything behind," said Mariateresa Cacciapouti, head of the ICRC's sub-delegation working in Ma'rib.
"Time and again Yemenis are being forced to flee, leaving behind loved ones, losing their homes, keeping only their hope."
Tens of thousands of people, most of them civilians, have been killed in Saudi airstrikes and ground operations in Yemen over the past five years.
Yemenis have responded by mostly targeting military positions deep inside Saudi Arabia or sites inside Yemen where the kingdom has deployed mercenaries and military forces.
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have purchased billions of dollars' worth of weapons from the United States, France and the United Kingdom in the war on Yemen.
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