Yemen: Last week of truce sees highest weekly number of child casualties in two years

An uptick of violence in Yemen led to 38 children being killed or injured in the final week of a UN-brokered truce, the highest number of child casualties in one week since early 2020, in a stark reminder of what children face without a complete cessation of hostilities.

This came after an increase in armed violence in the last month of the truce in Yemen resulted in 232 civilian casualties including 57 children, with the last week of July being the bloodiest in years with over 65 civilian casualties including 38 children.

The truce, which expires today (August 2), has been a largely positive change for children in Yemen since it began in April, with civilian casualties down 53% compared to the four months prior to the truce being enacted. In the same time period, child casualties fell by 30% to 120.

The truce has also introduced significant milestones, including re-opening Sana’a airport for civilian flights, allowing fuel ships into Hodeidah port and giving children much-needed respite from violence allowing them to enjoy the Eid for the first time in seven years.

However, as the truce has neared its end, the number of civilian casualties reported in July rose 52%.Children in Yemen deserve sincere and earnest efforts to ensure the complete cessation of violence, re-opening roads in Taiz, as well as the full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all Yemenis across the country.

Save the Children’s Country Director for Yemen, Rama Hansraj, said:

"Words fail when trying to describe the amount of suffering and hardship that has been endured by children in Yemen for over seven years of an unforgiving war that has taken a terrible toll on their lives and the future of their country."In April, everyone was thrilled to hear the news about truce and the extension in June bought hope for a long-term resolution to the conflict. However, last week’s news of such a sharp increase of civilian casualties came as a grim reminder that children are still far from safe as long as the war has not officially ended.

"The truce has indeed given children a moment of respite. More importantly, it provided them hope, and allowed them for the first time in seven years to see their dreams of having a peaceful and safe life perhaps starting to come true. The truce has given a rare opportunity to contemplate and reflect on the cost of war and conflict and the need for it to end."

Save the Children condemns the continued attacks on children and urges for the warring parties to do all that is in their power to protect children in line with the International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law.

Save the Children has been working in Yemen since 1963, implementing programmes in education, child protection, health and nutrition, water and sanitation, and emergency response across most of the country.