London | 15 July 2020 | Save the Children
"It is simply inexplicable that at a time the country should focus on fighting the coronavirus outbreak, the number of airstrikes is actually rising."
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Another air strike in Yemen is reported to have killed nine people in Al Jawf governorate, including four children. This attack comes just three days after an air raid that, according to local authorities, killed six children and two women, bringing the total number of civilians killed in the last four days to 17, including 10 children.
Xavier Joubert, Save the Children's country director in Yemen, said:
“We are horrified by the news that the majority of those killed over these days have been children. Yemeni children are paying with their lives in a war they have no part in, leaving families torn apart while the airstrikes continue to indiscriminately target civilians. It is simply inexplicable that at a time the country should focus on fighting the coronavirus outbreak, the number of airstrikes is actually rising.”
The attacks during July continue an escalation in the violence in Yemen that saw the number of civilian casualties treble from May to June, according to the Yemen Data Project. In the first six months of 2020, there was a 139% increase in bombing rates by the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition, compared to the last six months of 2019.
The escalation in violence in recent weeks comes after the UN Secretary-General failed to list the Saudi and Emirati-led coalition in their Annual Report on Children and Armed Conflict, for all the grave violations the coalition committed against children in Yemen in 2019.
Mr Joubert added: "These attacks not only threaten children’s lives directly, but also the lifesaving humanitarian work and efforts to battle the coronavirus outbreak which many health workers say is spreading out of control amid minimal testing. We call on all sides and the international community to urgently de-escalate the conflict and work towards a political solution for what is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world.”
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