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‘Every 10 minutes, a child in Yemen dies of preventable disease’

Around 11 million Yemeni children desperately need aid — UNICEF

By Raed Omari - Nov 27,2017 - Last updated at Nov 27,2017

AMMAN — "Every 10 minutes, a child in Yemen dies of preventable disease," the United Nations Children's Fund said on Sunday.

Indicating that the two-and-a-half years of war in Yemen have witnessed the killing and serious injury of close to 5,000 children, Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF's regional director for the Middle East and North Africa said: "Today it is fair to say that Yemen is one of the worst places on earth to be a child."

"The war in Yemen is sadly a war on children," Cappelaere said, adding that around 2 million children in the war-torn Arab state suffer acute malnutrition. 

Cappelaere noted that Sunday's press briefing was triggered by "our very successful delivery yesterday [Saturday] of 1.9 million doses of vaccines to Sanaa's airport

A UN plane carrying vaccines landed in the insurgent-held Yemeni capital Sanaa on Saturday after a three-week aid blockade.

The UN humanitarian affairs office had said on Friday that it had been given clearance by the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the rebels since 2015 to resume flights to Sanaa.

Cappelaere said that more than 11 million Yemeni children are in acute need of humanitarian assistance. "That’s almost every single Yemeni boy and girl," he stated.   

"The reason behind this to be very straight forward is: decades of conflict, decades also of chronic underdevelopment," the director added.

The UN official said that access to children across war-torn Yemen is a "daily challenge" and ensuring that the supplies are reaching the vulnerable children is "another challenge", welcoming Saturday's reopening of Sanaa airport. 

"It [the airport reopening] allowed us to send in a first humanitarian convoy… [of] $1.9 million doses of vaccines that are urgently needed for a planned campaign to vaccinate 600,000 children across Yemen. Vaccinate them against: diphtheria, meningitis, whooping cough, pneumonia and tuberculosis," Cappelaere said.

He added that “much more” supplies are desperately needed by Yemeni people, adding that a number of UNICEF vessels were on their way to Hodeida port carrying “ready to use therapeutic food for assisting malnourished children, chlorine tablets for chlorinating water wells in order to ensure drinking water, medical supplies to support the prevention and also treatment of acute watery diarrhea and cholera”.

More than 2,000 people have died of cholera in Yemen this year, adding to the 8,600 who have died in the ongoing conflict since 2015.

“On behalf of every single boy and girl in Yemen, let me conclude by appealing once again to all parties responsible for today’s situation in Yemen, to all parties and all those with a heart for children: Please take your responsibility, don’t take it tomorrow, take your responsibility now,” Cappelaere concluded.

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TRUELY SO BUT IS JORDAN A MEMBER OF THE COALITION OF BLOKADE????????????????????????????????????????

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