Yemen: conflict will have killed 377,000 by the end of the year, UN alarms

“In 2021, a Yemeni child under the age of five dies every nine minutes as a result of the conflict. The latest UN report on the consequences of the conflict in Yemen, published on Tuesday, is final: this war, which since 2014 has pitted the Houthi rebels supported by Iran against the forces of the Yemeni government, supported by Saudi Arabia, is well the biggest humanitarian disaster in the world. The conflict will have caused the death of 377,000 people, direct and indirect victims of the conflict, by the end of 2021, adds the organization.

Because in addition to the very deadly fighting, these seven years of war had “catastrophic effects on the development of the nation”, according to this document from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which adds that “access to healthcare health is limited or nonexistent ”and that“ the economy is on the verge of collapse ”. Almost 60% of the deaths, or about 227,000 people, are therefore caused by the indirect consequences of the conflict, such as lack of clean water, hunger and disease. And most of the indirect victims are “children particularly vulnerable to malnutrition and undernutrition,” says the UNDP.

In 2017, the UN was already alerting to the risk of famine due to the blockade of the country led by Saudi Arabia. “An increasing proportion of these deaths will occur because of the indirect consequences that the crisis has on livelihoods, food prices and the deterioration of basic services, such as health and education,” he said. this time indicated.

Resumption of fighting

In recent weeks, fighting has intensified on several fronts. Sources close to the Houthis say nearly 15,000 of their fighters have been killed since June alone near the strategic town of Marib, the last major government stronghold in northern Yemen and rich in oil. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday “extremely worried about the safety and security of civilians in the province of Marib, including the displaced”, estimated at “one million”. “More than 40,000 people have had to flee Marib since September,” UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo told Geneva.

According to the UN report, “1.3 million people” face death threats if a peace deal is not reached by 2030 and the war ends immediately, the country may hope to reach ” middle income status by 2050 ”. Unfortunately, few signs on the ground seem to point in this direction.

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