13 December – One in three casualties in Yemen this year was living in regions covered by a UN-led peace deal signed three years, threatening the future of the ceasefire, according to Save the Children.
More than 700 people have been killed or injured in Hodeida and Taiz so far this year, despite warring parties signing the Stockholm Agreement in 2018 to help avert military escalation in the two regions, and safeguard the flow of goods and humanitarian aid.
However, three years into the agreement, civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict and humanitarian needs remain high.
October marked the deadliest month this year for Yemen, with 358 people killed or injured – a 53% increase from September. Sudden shifts in areas of control have also contributed to the escalation, particularly in Hodeida, with worrying reports of summary executions, killing and injuring, displacement and lack of basic services.
Children and their families living in Taiz remain particularly vulnerable to upticks in violence as more than 400 people have been killed in the region so far in 2021. Active frontlines in close proximity to densely urban populations put children and their families in Taiz at constant risk.
Ahmed*, 16, was severely injured by a missile that killed his uncle while they were fetching water in Taiz. Ahmed* lost both his legs, his left hand, and sight in one eye in the attack. After a series of operations and medical treatment supported by Save the Children, Ahmed* has started to regain his confidence and is trying to live his life to the fullest.
“It makes me sad seeing innocent children being victims of this war. They either end up with a disability or dead,” said Ahmed*. “After the incident, [I decided to] go back to school. I wanted to overcome my disability. And, this is what I want to say to children with disability: Don’t let the disability stop you from achieving your dreams. Your dreams must overcome your disability.”
This year, Save the Children has supported the treatment of 138 children like Ahmed* who have been victims of attacks in Taiz and Hodeida. Without all parties to the conflict taking the Stockholm Agreement seriously, more children will become victims of Yemen’s brutal war in 2022, Save the Children is warning.
Xavier Joubert, Save the Children’s Country Director for Yemen, said:
“Yemen continues to be one of the most dangerous places to be a child today. Back in 2018, the Stockholm Agreement was a positive step towards peace efforts but the hope it brought was short-lived. In just three years, around 3,000 people, including innocent children, have been killed or injured in Hodeida and Taiz.
“While it is critical that the international community continues to engage with parties to the conflict for long term solutions and fully implement the Stockholm Agreement, it is just as critical that the suffering of children stops now.”
Save the Children is calling on all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under International Human Rights Law and International Humanitarian Law. Parties to the conflict must protect children and their families from the horror of the ongoing violence, limit the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, and take immediate, practical, measures to reduce their impact on homes, schools and hospitals.
Save the Children also calls on the international community to ensure accountability for all violations and abuses against children, through the urgent reinstatement of an international independent monitoring and reporting mechanism on Yemen and the establishment of an adequately resourced and sufficiently staffed international investigative mechanism for the country.
Save the Children has been working in Yemen since 1963, implementing programmes in education, child protection, health and nutrition, water and sanitation and emergency response across most of the country.
*names changed to protect privacy
According to new analysis by Save the Children, using data from Civilian Impact Monitoring Project (CIMP), more than 700 people have been killed or injured in Hodeida and Taiz between January to November 2021