By Fatih Erel
More than three million children have been born in Yemen since the escalation in violence in March 2015, UN Children's Fund, UNICEF, said on Tuesday.
A UNICEF report entitled "Born into War” offers a detailed look on how Yemeni children have been scarred by years of violence, displacement, disease, poverty, undernutrition and a lack of access to basic services including water, health care and education.
“More than 5,000 children have been killed or injured in the violence -- an average of five children every day since March 2015,” the report said, adding that more than 11 million children needed urgent humanitarian assistance -- more than half of the country’s child population -- as they did not have access to safe drinking water or adequate sanitation.
"An estimated 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished, including nearly 400,000 severely acutely malnourished children who are fighting for their lives," the report said.
The report also touched on the problem of widespread disease. "Suspected cholera and acute watery diarrhea have affected over 1 million people, with children under 5 years old accounting for a quarter of all cases," it said.
Noting that nearly two million children were out of school, the report said a total of 256 schools were reported "totally destroyed" as of the end of Sep. 2017, while 150 schools were occupied by displaced people, and 23 of them by armed groups.
"Three quarters of all girls are married before the age of 18," the report also added.
UNICEF’s Yemen Representative Meritxell Relano noted that an entire generation of children in Yemen was growing up knowing nothing but violence.
“Children in Yemen are suffering the devastating consequences of a war that is not of their making," she said.
UN's World Food Programme (WFP) also said on Tuesday that 22.2 million Yemenis were in need of humanitarian assistance with nearly 18 million not knowing where their next meal would come from.
"More than eight million of them are extremely vulnerable and entirely dependent on external food assistance," WFP warned.