By NY Staff
Children have been hard hit by the crisis in Yemen. The pain experienced by the children throughout these traumatic events is best described through a recent drawing by seven-year old Hanin Mohammed posted on UNICEF-Yemen’s Facebook page.
Hanin wrote a caption for the image that was posted on UNICEF’s Facebook page by with two simple sentences, “A little boy is crying after a sniper shot his younger brother dead. I pasted a candy sticker on the drawing to comfort him.”
This drawing has invited the attention of many people on Facebook pages and has been shared widely. Many commented on the image, such as Osama Alghithi, who said “we expect more from UNICEF,” and Rana Jarhum commenting that “It is a painful.”
The image simply summarizes the worsening situation of children in Yemen which UNICEF Executive Director Tony Lake describes as a deepening humanitarian crisis.
Commenting on the rapidly deteriorating situation and its effects on Yemeni children, Tony Lake said in statement obtained by National Yemen that “UNICEF deplores children being caught in the crossfire in Yemen and urges all parties to the conflict to do their utmost to spare civilians, especially women and children. At least 94 children have been killed and 240 wounded by gunshots or shelling in Yemen since civil unrest began this year.”
Lake added, “Reports confirmed by our partners say that at least two children were killed this week. A seven-year-old girl was killed by shrapnel in the capital, Sana’a, on October 2and a 13-year-old boy perished in the same manner on October 4.”
UNICEF condemns all violence against children wherever they are.
The Executive Director said that instead of going back to school this September, students, such as Hanin, have faced armed men rather than their teachers.
The children have not only felt the impact of the absence of school, but the infectious spread of malnutrition. UNICEF noted that malnutrition rates were already alarmingly high in the country even before the current violence broke out, and disproportionately affects the poorest people in Yemen’s population. There are 3.6 million children under five years of age in Yemen and of them 43% are underweight, and an unprecedented 58% of them are stunted in their growth.
These problems, according to UNICEF, are only compounded by rocketing food prices and a collapse of basic health services.
“The crisis in Yemen has the biggest impact on the most vulnerable, children, many of whom need assistance now and require help in the longer term if they are to recover,” said Tony Lake.
Despite the dire situation, UNICEF noted that other countries are still receiving more international media attention.
“The people of Yemen need our attention and help now. There is not a moment to lose,”
concluded Tony Lake.
If the international community continues to overlook Yemen, Hanin’s image will surely represent the future for all of children in Yemen.