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UNICEF reports 'shameful milestone' of 10,000 children killed in Yemen war

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UNICEF reports 'shameful milestone' of 10,000 children killed in Yemen war
A Yemeni child waits to get his family's food rations provided by Mona Relief Yemen amid a huge shortfall in humanitarian aid funding in July, 2020. File Photo by Yahya Arhab/EPA-EFE

Oct. 19 (UPI) -- More than 10,000 children have been killed in Yemen since fighting began in 2015, UNICEF reported Tuesday, calling it a "shameful milestone."

UNICEF needs at least $235 million to "continue life-saving work in Yemen till mid-2022," spokesman James Elder said during a press briefing in Geneva following his visit to Yemen.

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He said many more deaths of children have gone unidentified and unrecorded. There are 400,000 children that are malnourished, 2 million children who are out of school, and 1.7 million internally displaced.

More than 170,000 teachers haven't been paid a regular salary for more than four years as more than 4 million children remain at risk of dropping out of school. He said of the 15 million people who don't have access to clean water, half of them are children.

Though UNICEF is providing emergency services and relief, Elder said that funding needs to increase.

"Yemen's humanitarian crisis -- the world's worst -- represents a tragic convergence of four threats: A violent and protracted conflict, economic devastation, shattered services for every support system - that is, health, nutrition, water and sanitation, protection and education, and a critically under-funded UN response," he said.

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The civil war in Yemen began in 2015 between the government and Houthi rebels. Since then, the country's GDP has dropped 40%. In October, the UN Human Rights Council voted to end its war crimes investigation.

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