YEMEN: The children torn apart by airstrikes

Tuesday 28 March 2017

YEMEN: The children torn apart by airstrikes

*New raw & social video, stills & testimony available here*

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“Blood was coming out of Ali’s ears and nose. Blood was even coming out from his mouth…it was hard for him to even breathe.” –Ali, 9, now wears two hearing aids and barely speaks after he was injured in an airstrike that hit a school next to his home

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My wounds still hurt and I’m very afraid when I hear aircraft overhead. I have nightmares at night – I see them hitting our house again and again.” –Noor & Khalil, 6 & 9, injured by shrapnel in an airstrike that hit their family home

It is more than two years since the conflict in Yemen escalated and airstrikes began. At least 1,546 children have been killed and 2,450 maimed since March 2015.

All warring parties are guilty of violations of international law. There have been attacks on homes, on schools, and on hospitals.

Our teams are helping young children who have had their lives torn apart by bombs. We are providing psychological support and arranging medical care for those in need.

9-year-old Ali was thrown through a second-story window by the force of a blast that hit a school next to his home. His injuries left him unable to hear or speak. He now uses two hearing aids – and can barely speak despite surgery and months of speech therapy.

“Blood was coming out of Ali’s ears and nose. Blood was even coming out from his mouth… it was hard for him to even breathe,” Ali’s mother recalls.

“We took shelter in a small ground room that was made from mud. It was the most horrible night of our lives. Ali was injured and we couldn’t take him to the hospital – there were the sounds of the flying jets and missiles falling one after the other very close to our home.”

Khalil and his little sister Noor, aged 9 and 6, were peppered with shrapnel when an airstrike hit their home on New Year’s Day. The attack killed their grandfather, 3-year-old cousin and three guests.

“I was playing in the yard with my brother, and then we heard the missile coming towards us… I was so scared; I kept my eyes closed,” Noor says.

“My wounds still hurt and I am very afraid when I hear aircraft overhead. I have nightmares at night – I see aircrafts hitting our house again and again. My brother and I cannot sleep properly. Sometimes I wake up because I hear my brother Khalil shouting while he is asleep.”

Grant Pritchard, Save the Children’s Interim Country Director for Yemen, said:

“Our teams are helping children who have been physically and mentally scarred for life by illegal attacks on homes, hospitals and schools. But in this crisis children are not just being bombed – they are also being starved. The Saudi-led coalition is stopping vital supplies getting in by sea, while warring parties are detaining aid workers and obstructing deliveries by land. Millions of children and their families have no idea where their next meal is coming from, or where the next bomb will fall.”

“The international community must now do more to stand up for the children whose lives are at stake – making sure aid and vital commercial supplies for Yemen get where they need to go, that the woefully underfunded UN appeal for Yemen is fully funded, and that all parties are held accountable for violations of international law.”

For more information about delays to Save the Children’s shipments of medical aid for Yemen see here