[JURIST] UNICEF [official website] reported [text, PDF] Tuesday that "on average at least six children have been killed or maimed everyday since March 15, 2015" as the crisis in Yemen escalates. The report also discussed how recruitment of children as young "as 10 years old" has increased "exponentially" and there have been continued attacks on educational facilities and hospitals while humanitarian aid has been denied. Several hospitals had been taken over by combatants and used for military purposes. Infrastructure, water and food needs have also been disrupted by the fighting causing malnutrition and mortality rates to rise. UNICEF urged involved parties to cease the fighting and reach an agreement while calling on partners to secure funding to help affected areas. As of the date of the report, UNICEF had only reached 18 percent of its funding requirements for the year.
The rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen has sparked significant international concern. Earlier this month UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein criticized [JURIST report] the Saudi Arabian coalition forces in Yemen for the more than 3,000 civilian casualties resulting from the conflict in just the past year. Also earlier this month, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned [JURIST report] that the use of cluster bombs by the Saudi-led coalition against neighborhoods in Yemen may amount to a war crime. Also this month the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said [JURIST report] that the civilian death toll in Yemen had reached nearly 2,800. In January the UN World Food Programme appealed to all the parties involved in the Yemen conflict to allow the safe passage of food [JURIST report] to the city of Taiz. In October Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into possible war crimes surrounding the destruction of a hospital [JURIST report] run by Doctors Without Borders in Yemen.