The “man-made humanitarian catastrophe” caused by the brutal civil war in Yemen forced some parents to sell off their daughters, some as young as three years old, in hopes that the dowry bride will keep the rest of the family alive, international charity Oxfam reported.
The relatives planned to use the money, paid for the child brides, to buy food and shelter.
“They think this is the only way” to stay alive, Oxfam’s director for Yemen, Muhsin Siddiquey, told RT. “They can bring the dowry, and that can protect the whole family and other extended members.”
Overall, “10 million are just on the brink of famine” in Yemen, he said, adding that the four years of war also sparked “the worst cholera crisis in the century.”
“If the humanitarian assistance is not provided timely” and the food supply becomes “nonfunctional even for a day… there will be much more catastrophic situations,” Siddiquey stressed.
The conflict in Yemen, exacerbated by the Saudi-led intervention in 2015, placed a heavy toll on the civilian population, with 400,000 children suffering from “life-threatening” malnutrition, according to the UN figures.
Housing also remains an acute problem since much of homes were demolished by deadly air raids.