UNICEF To Grant $140 Million To Yemen

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Shatha Al-Harazi Published:26-01-2012

SANAA, Jan.25 — The Number of the malnourished children of those under the age of five grown as the result of 2011 unrest to be 750,000 children according to the UNFCF. 500,000 of them are at the risk of Dying or at the risk of physical or mental disability as a result of malnutrition.

An estimated 149 children were killed, 24 of them were girls and the youngest were three months old in 2011 unrest. 568 children were wounded by live ammunition.

Moreover, many children were affected by physical violence; hundreds have been affected by teargas suffocation.

The UNICEF director for Middle East and North Africa, Maria Calivis, promised on Tuesday that the UNICEF will grant Yemen US$ 140 Million to be spent in the next four years on Children health, education and protection.

“There is a very big risk that nobody will do enough, and not enough will be done and there is another priority of the government and these crises will be forgotten” she said.

Calives conclude a two days visit to Yemen on Tuesday. Saying that the malnutrition problem is not only about food, it is also about water, sanitation, hygiene, health and education.

“I came to draw the attention of the authorities and the international community that there is another crisis that has not been addressed” she said.

Calives on Monday met with some ministers including the prime minister Mohammed Salem Basundwa in which they signed the agreement and discussed how to address the negative effect on 2011 events on children.

Calives stressed on the importance of prioritize Malnutrition problem by the National Unity Government.

“Now that there is peace and the government is discussing their priorities of the future, it is important that they discuses the crises of malnutrition” she said.

As locals complained of no access to food in Abyan, and the risk of fights between militants and the state in other governorate is there, the UNICEF commented that “As soon as there is peace in these governorates” they will be the first to help, encouraging other NGOs.

Explaining that two months ago they hardly could access to Sa’ada in the north but today the situation is different and by the help of their partners the UNICEF started working in Sa’ada.

Gert Capilery the Excutive Director of the UNICEF office in Saana’, told the Yemen Times UNICEF gave help to nine distracts in Abyan except two districts in which the state use militant who belongs to al-Qeada.

“We gave help to nine distracts in Abyan except Zunjubar and Khanfer, in access to water, in ministration and other fields “he said.

The effects of last year’s events have to be dealt with on different scales according to the UNICEF. Before 2011, only 70% of the children were able to go to schools, currently 90,000 students unable to access to schooling.

“After the crises of last year, half million child were deprived from schooling,” said Capilery. Adding that some of the schools were occupied by security forces, others were occupied by displaced people moreover; when things were better people were still afraid to send their children to schools. 92 schools have been occupied by armed forces in Sana’a only. Preventing over 150,000 children from attending schools.

AP reported that Yemen's Education Ministry said at least 54 schools had been occupied by military forces and militias from both the pro and anti-Saleh camps during the height of clashes.

Another kind of help the UNICEF gives to children in Yemen is psychological rehabilitation after the violence increased last year. “It is happening now that support is given to Children and their parents to tackle traumas”.

Many children participated in pro an anti government protests which increased their exposure to violence and the psychological effects of witnessing violence