Unconscionable attack on children should be turning point in Yemen’s brutal war – enough is enough

Statement from UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore

09 August 2018

NEW YORK, 9 August 2018 – “The horrific attack on a bus in Sa’ada, Yemen, reportedly killing and maiming scores of children, marks a low point in the country’s brutal war. The question now is whether it will also be a turning point – the moment that must finally push the warring parties, UN Security Council and international community to do what’s right for children and bring an end to this conflict. 

“UNICEF and others have repeatedly called for the protection of children and for respect of international humanitarian law. These calls have been met with utter disregard. Since 2015, nearly 2,400 children have been killed, more than 3,600 injured, and thousands of innocent lives have been damaged or destroyed. Attacks against hospitals, schools and essential infrastructure are commonplace.

“The continuing conflict, repeated attacks, and access restrictions due to insecurity and violence are also hampering our ability to reach those most in need, including 11 million children who require humanitarian assistance.

“How many more children will suffer or die before those who can act, do by putting a stop to this scourge? 

“In just the past few weeks, a UNICEF-supported water station and sanitation centre in Hodeida – both of which are essential in providing families with access to clean water and preventing another outbreak of cholera – were attacked and seriously damaged, risking the health and wellbeing of hundreds of thousands of people.

“It’s hard to believe we live in a world where children should live in fear of such attacks, yet here we are. This doesn’t have to be their reality though. Parties to the conflict and those who have influence over them, including Security Council members, can and should choose to end this catastrophe for the sake of Yemen’s children.”      

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