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News note

Unexploded ordnance and landmines killing more children in Yemen

SANAA, 20 April 2012 – UNICEF expressed grave concern today that children are increasingly becoming victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance.

In the first three months of 2012 alone, 13 children were reported killed and another 12 maimed by unexploded ordnance or mines in 12 reported incidents.

In 2011, unexploded ordnance or mines reportedly left 28 children killed and nine maimed. These included 18 children killed and four injured in a single incident at an ammunition factory blast in the Abyan governorate in March last year.

“These figures are extremely alarming,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “The casualties for just the first three months of 2012 are fast approaching the total for 2011.”

Earlier this week, three children were also killed by a roadside bomb in the eastern province of Hadramout. According to government officials, the children were on their way to school.

“UNICEF is deeply disturbed by these developments and strongly urges the transitional government and all relevant parties in Yemen to guarantee, at all times, the safety of all children and their unhindered access to basic social services,” said Mr. Cappelaere.

“Children represent over half the population of Yemen and it is our collective responsibility to ensure the fulfillment of their rights and protection,” he added.


UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For further information, please contact:

Alison Parker, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Yemen Country Office, Tel + 967 737-523-048,

Peter Smerdon, Chief Media Relations, UNICEF New York, Tel + 1 212 303 7984, psmerdon@unicef.org




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