Yemen is the “worst place on earth to be a child”



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Ships carrying food aid arrived in Yemen last weekend.

The Reuters news agency reported that a ship carrying some 6,000 tons of flour received permission to stop at the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

The world of the United Nations The Food Program said that around 27,000 tons of wheat arrived on Sunday at the port of Saleef in the Red Sea. The port is under the control of forces opposed to the government of Yemen.

The aid shipments came after Saudi Arabia and its allies eased a blockade of almost three weeks. However, aid agencies say that millions of people, including many children, are at risk of dying from hunger in Yemen.

Many at risk of death

Geert Cappelaere works with the United Nations Children's Fund or UNICEF. He says that Yemen is one of the worst places on Earth to be a child. It is urging all parties involved in the conflict not to block the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Cappelaere is the director of the Middle East of UNICEF. He said that more than 11 million Yemeni children need humanitarian badistance. He said that number includes almost all children in the country. He estimated that every 10 minutes, a Yemeni child is dying of a preventable disease.

"I reiterate my request to all those who have a heart for children, in fact not to prevent us from delivering what is urgently needed and needed in a mbadive way". 19659002] Cappelaere noted that planes carrying 1.9 million doses of vaccines landed Saturday at Sana'a International Airport. These vaccines are designed to protect against the diseases of diphtheria, tuberculosis and meningitis.

The UNICEF official told reporters on Sunday that many more supplies are needed.

"Yesterday was a very small step, it is a very small step, it may sound enormous: 1.9 million doses of vaccines, but many millions more vaccines are needed, if we want to avoid an interruption in routine immunization. in the country, there are many more, more supplies are needed. "

Aid prevented by the blockade

Some seven million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen. Its survival depends on international badistance.

But a coalition led by Saudi blocked land, sea and air travel to Yemen on November 6 after a missile strike in Riyadh.

The Saudis stopped the missile attack. The government blames Iran for the attack and for arming the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Iranian government denies the accusations.

Last week, the coalition led by Saudi Arabia promised to ease the blockade at the Sana & # 39; a and Hodeida airport.

A UN official said that about 5,000 children have been killed or injured since the beginning of a campaign led by Saudi Arabia in support of the Yemeni government in 2015. Two and a half million people have fled the violence.

Mohammed Khadeesh is one of 120 people living in a camp in southern Yemen.

"The Houthis were firing from the north of our place and the resistance from the south, firing at us and flying over us, we fled and arrived here with our children two months ago, and for the last two months, we have not received anything: mattresses, without help, without anything. "

The displacement and the blockade have worsened the crisis. The urgent humanitarian need includes water pumps to help control the spread of cholera and the fuel needed to transport supplies.

Zlatica Hoke and Kenneth Schwartz reported this story to VOANews.com. Phil Dierking adapted his to learn English. George Grow was the editor.

How do you think help should be given to countries in conflict? We want to hear from you. Write us in the comments section or on our Facebook page.

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Words in this story

dose – n. the amount of a drug, medication or vitamin taken at one time

immunization – n. a vaccine to prevent infection by a disease

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