UNICEF: Half a million students drop out in Yemen war

Yemeni children present documents in order to receive food rations provided by a local charity, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
Updated 27 March 2018
0

UNICEF: Half a million students drop out in Yemen war

SANAA: Close to half a million Yemeni children have dropped out of school since 2015, UNICEF said Tuesday.
That brings the number of children without access to education to two million, as minors are increasingly recruited in the fighting, according to the UN children’s agency.
“An entire generation of children in Yemen faces a bleak future because of limited or no access to education,” said Meritxell Relano, UNICEF’s Yemen representative.
“The journey to school has also become dangerous as children risk being killed en route,” Relano said.
“Fearing for their children’s safety, many parents choose to keep their children at home. The lack of access to education has pushed children and families to dangerous alternatives, including early marriage, child labor and recruitment into the fighting.”
At least 2,419 children have been recruited by armed groups since 2015, according to UNICEF.
Another 4.5 million risk losing access to public schools as teachers have not been paid in more than a year amid a crisis that has seen Yemen — long the Arab world’s poorest country — reach the brink of official famine.


Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

Pro-government drive in an industrial district in the eastern outskirts of the port city Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018
0

Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

  • Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday
  • UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week

SANAA: Iran-backed Houthi militias have said they are ready to mobilize more fighters to the frontline despite a lull in battleground Hodeidah, as the UN envoy prepares to visit the country to boost peace efforts.

Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday, apparently getting ready to head toward Hodeidah, a Red Sea city home to a vital port.

Men, some of whom looked very young, were lining up with bandoliers around their shoulders and rifles in their hands, chanting Houthi slogans.

Residents said on Sunday that relative calm had held in Hodeidah city since pro-government forces announced a pause in their offensive last week amid international calls for a cease-fire and UN-led peace efforts.  They added, however, that they remain on edge.

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week to finalize arrangements for peace talks to take place in Sweden soon.

Hameed Assem, a member of the militia delegation expected to take part in the negotiations, said that Houthis will continue to mobilize if UN efforts for peace fail to materialize.

Pro-government forces on Wednesday suspended their 12-day offensive in Hodeidah.

Griffiths said on Friday that both the government and the Houthis have shown a “renewed commitment” to work on a political solution and have given “firm assurances” that they will attend the talks. No date has yet been set.