WAR CRIMES: 80,000 Yemeni Children Suffer from Persistent Trauma, Psychological Disorders


SANA’A – Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights warned that the ongoing Saudi-led military onslaught against the impoverished and conflict-ridden Arab country has taken a heavy toll on Yemeni children’s mental wellbeing, saying tens of thousands of minors suffer from persistent trauma and psychological disorders.

It announced in a report published on Saturday that almost five years of continuous conflict in Yemen have left a devastating impact on the mental health of children, and that 80,000 kids suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other related issues, PressTV reported.

The report added that 9,835 civilians, including 800 children, have been paralyzed as a result of direct targeting of their houses and places of residents by Saudi-led military aircraft. The Yemeni ministry further highlighted that 24 million and one hundred thousand people are in dire need of assistance, including food, healthcare, water, accommodation and education.

More than 70 thousand civilians, who are suffering from conditions that cannot be treated inside Yemen, cannot receive the required medication as the Saudi-led coalition does not allow the opening of a humanitarian air bridge from Sana’a International Airport.

The report stated that 8,000 family households in al-Durayhimi city of the western coastal province of Hudaydah urgently need food and medical supplies as they are under siege by the Saudi-led alliance. The Yemeni ministry concluded by putting the poverty rate at around 85 percent, noting that 65 percent of the Yemeni labor force is unemployed as well.

Yemeni Minister of Public Health and Population Taha al-Mutawakel, citing a new report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), stated in mid-December that 300 Yemeni children suffering from various diseases, including cancer, lose their lives every day.

He warned that children with cancerous tumors suffer the most due to the scarcity of chemotherapy medicines and the dire shortage of treating facilities in the blockaded country. According to Mutawakel, 40,000 Yemenis, at least 6,000 of them children, get inflicted with cancer each year.

During the past nearly four years, the number of people diagnosed with various types of cancerous tumors has multiplied. Mutawakel noted that the Saudi-led military coalition waging a war on Yemen is still preventing cancer patients from traveling abroad and barring them from crossing a UN-sponsored humanitarian air bridge.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four and a half years. The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme hunger.

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