The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, raised alarm bells over Yemeni children’s education.
The UN agency affirmed, in a new report released titled Education Disrupted, that more than two million children were not in school because of the years-long conflict and extreme poverty.
“Children remain the primary victims of this terrible crisis, with 11.3 million requiring some form of humanitarian aid or protection assistance,” said the report.
Some 8.1 million children need emergency education assistance across Yemen, an increase from the 1.1 million reported before the war started, it said.
According to the report, there have been 231 attacks on schools in Yemen since March 2015 while two-thirds of Yemen’s 170,000 teachers have not been paid regularly for the past four years.
“This puts nearly four million additional children at risk of missing out on their education as unpaid teachers quit teaching to find other ways of providing for their families,” said the report.
“The conflict has a staggering impact on every aspect of children’s lives, yet access to education provides a sense of normalcy for children in even the most desperate contexts and protects them from multiple forms of exploitation,” said UNICEF representative to Yemen Philippe Duamelle.
“Keeping children in school is critical for their own future and the future of Yemen,” Duamelle added.
“Education is challenged in multiple ways in the conflict in Yemen. The conflict is limiting access to schools as schools are being destroyed or occupied by the displaced populations or armed groups. It has made it very difficult for children to go to school,” Duamelle said.
“School not only provides children with education and important skills, it also provides them protection from child labour, child marriage and other dangers,” he added.
Since March 2015, Yemen has become a living hell for the country’s children, leading to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.