In March 2015, political crisis in Yemen rapidly escalated into a conflict. As the fighting spread across the country, millions of civilians began suffering. The crisis has been characterized by the use of explosives with wide-area effects in populated areas.
The United Nations Children's Funds (UNICEF) has reported that at least 500 children have died and over 1.7 million are at risk of malnutrition due to the conflict in Yemen. The UN agency suggested that nearly 10 million children, 80% of the country's under-18 population need urgent humanitarian assistance across the Middle East country.
UNICEF representative in Yemen Julien Harneis said, "With every day that passes, children see their hopes and dreams shattered. Their homes, schools and communities are being destroyed, and their lives are threatened by disease and malnutrition."
UNICEF said, "Even before the conflict, the nutrition situation was dire as Yemen produces less than 10% of its food needs and relies heavily on imported foodstuffs. The consequences for children are 'dramatic'. The number of children under five at risk of severe acute malnutrition has tripled in 2015, with 537,000 children now at risk, compared to 160,000 children before the conflict."
Scarcity of fuel, electricity, gas, water and other services is further exacerbating the situation in Yemen. UNICEF said, "The last six months have also seen a growing number of attacks on civilians and vital infrastructure."
The UN is providing psychological support to help children cope with the horrors of the conflict. They are also providing education material on avoiding unexploded ordnances and mines.