The organization called for an urgent renewal of the ceasefire agreement. (AFP/File)
At least 3,774 children have been killed in Yemen’s civil war between March 2015 and September 2022, UNICEF said on Monday, a week after it launched a multibillion-dollar global funding drive.
According to the latest statistics published by UNICEF, a further 7,245 children had been maimed in the conflict.
The organization called for an urgent renewal of the ceasefire agreement, which lasted from April until the beginning of October and saw a lull in front-line fighting.
“The urgent renewal of the truce would be a positive first step that would allow critical humanitarian access,” Executive Director Catherine Russell said.
UNICEF said some 3,904 boys were recruited as child soldiers from March 2015 to September 2022.
Russell said: “If the children of Yemen are to have any chance of a decent future, then the parties to the conflict, the international community and all those with influence must ensure they are protected and supported.”
A deal to extend the truce fell through in the hours before its deadline on Oct. 2.
Houthis have widely used land mines, a weapon that has killed at least 74 children across Yemen between July and September this year, the UN reported.
The militia has openly recruited child soldiers, many through “summer camps” in which it disseminates its ideology to young boys.
Houthi officials admitted earlier this year that the militia had recruited some boys as young as age 10, arguing that boys of this age are considered men.
UNICEF last week launched a $10.3 billion Humanitarian Action for Children appeal for 2023 to assist children affected by conflicts and disasters worldwide.
It aims to raise nearly $484.5 million throughout the year for Yemen.
“Thousands of children have lost their lives; hundreds of thousands more remain at risk of death from preventable disease or starvation,” Russell said.
UNICEF noted that more than 17.8 million Yemenis lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services.
This leaves around 10 million children without adequate access to care, it said.
The UN and partners earlier this month appealed for a record $51.5 billion in aid money for 2023, a 25 percent increase on 2022 and more than five times the amount sought a decade ago.
The UN agency also estimated that around 2.2 million children in Yemen are “acutely malnourished.”