The Children of Yemen: Warfare, Destruction, And Countless Lives Lost

This article focuses especially on the damaging impact of the Yemeni war on its children, by examining the overarching detrimental impacts on wellbeing and future potential. The estimate as it currently stands quotes that “as many as 85,000 Yemeni children may have starved to death during the past three years.” Further, UNICEF accounts that “since 2015, 2,400 girls and boys have been killed and 3,600 injured” amidst the warfare. Ravaging the lives of innocents ought not to be a point of the war but unfortunately, it appears to emerge as the handmaiden of war.

As it stands, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates that “11.3 million children are in need.” What such figures tersely enunciate is the gravity of the issues, which ought to be acknowledged. Likewise, as reported by Aljazeera online, “in an official statement, Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children director in Yemen [reiterated the helplessness of the situation].” As such on the ground, human suffering resulting from starvation is beyond unfathomable with Kirolos explicitly explaining that “Children who die in this way suffer immensely as their vital organ functions slow down and eventually stop… Parents are having to witness their children wasting away, unable to do anything about it.”

With figures and statistics such as these, the move towards peace and the achievement of peace is clearly critical. It is indeed unfortunate that the innocent suffer so greatly, amidst the warfare. At present delivery of aid is obviously crucial, however, with continuous bombardment of crucial infrastructure, it appears highly tenuous as to whether continued delivery of aid, albeit positive, will actually serve as a strong combatant against the child mortality rate. Whilst this argument is clearly opinion, it has been contoured in light of the gravity of the situation at present. And thus the article aims to provide a realistic insight into present and potentially future suffering.

The potential opportunities and access to adequate health facilities have been severely compromised by the machinations of war. Beginning first with the matter of access to and delivery of education, UNICEF reports that “an estimated 2,500 schools have been destroyed, damaged or used for military purposes since the war began, [with] half a million children having already dropped out of school.” With figures such as these, the need for immediate peace is self-evident. And secondly, it has been reported that “8.6 million children have been cut off from regular access to safe water and sanitation facilities [due to] continuous attacks on infrastructure, such as water systems [which has] become a feature of this war.” Arguably, the longer the war rages, the greater the damage sustained and the bleaker Yemeni children’s futures become.

The future implications of such high child mortality rates and destruction of life-sustaining infrastructure are negative and perverse. Although immediate peace would be remarkable and ensure the move towards rebuilding the nation, it appears to not be a realistic expectation, especially given the current climate. However, what does emerge as clear and true is that attaining peace is the best way forward, and the sooner the better for without it, innocent Yemeni citizens will continue to suffer.

Nat Kumar


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