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Yemen conflict death toll hits 5,700

19th Nov 2015
Yemen conflict death toll hits 5,700

NEW YORK (AA): Approximately 5,700 victims have been killed in Yemen since Saudi-led bombing began in mid-March, including 830 women and children, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The UN’s humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Johannes van der Klaauw, told reporters that Yemen has been “grappling with a breakdown of essential services and forced displacement,” with nearly 21.2 million of the country’s 26.7 million population in need of humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.

He added that around 14 million people lack sufficient access to health care, as 3 million children and pregnant women need malnutrition treatment or preventive services.

“Overall, essential services are rapidly contracting due to the direct impact of the conflict and insufficient resources to pay salaries or maintenance,” said Van der Klaauw.

“We estimate that over 19 million people lack access to safe water and sanitation, over 14 million people are food insecure, including 7.6 million who are severely food insecure, and nearly 320,000 children are acutely malnourished,” he added.

Yemen’s devastating conflict pitted Shia Muslim Ansarullah Group [Houthis] and forces loyal to former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh against the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, which was backed by an air campaign launched in March by Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies.

Human rights groups have accused the Saudi coalition of conducting indiscriminate airstrikes and unnecessarily endangering the civilian population. The International Red Crescent Society has already lost eight staff members and volunteers from the shelling.

An estimated 2.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes and an additional 120,000 have fled the country due to fighting, said Van der Klaauw.

Author: Mustafa Çağlayan
Additional reporting from Agencies
[Photo: Saudi led airstrikes bomb civilan areas in Babul area, Sana’a, Yemen. September 19 2015. Photographer: Mohammed Hamoud/AA]

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