Three years of bloodshed
Today marks three years since the escalation of the devastating conflict in Yemen.
In that time, the country has been brought to its knees, and children robbed of their basic rights.
For the past three years, children have struggled to survive lethal, and often indiscriminate, violence. They have seen their friends and families die before their eyes, buried under the rubble of their homes and schools.
The war has crippled basic services, unleashing unprecedented disease outbreaks that have proven deadly to a population already made vulnerable by hunger and displacement. Severe, life-threatening malnutrition is rife – and children continue to be denied the food and medicine they so desperately need.
Today, 11.3 million children need help to survive this entirely manmade catastrophe.
Yemeni Children’s Parliament
To mark this anniversary, we invited representatives from the Yemeni Children’s Parliament to come together and share a message to the world. Their message was clear: this crisis must come to an end and Yemeni children must not be forgotten.
The Children’s Parliament, supported by Save the Children, creates awareness among children about their rights and how they can use their own voices to bring about meaningful change in Yemen’s Parliament to issues that are important to them.
Since the conflict began, children from across the country still attend – but their focus has shifted. Children’s hopes have now been stripped to the bare essentials – wanting the right to a future and to live like other children around the world.
This is what they said.
A message from Yemen’s children
We, the children of Yemen, are struggling to survive. We go to sleep to the sound of warplanes overhead and guns in the street. We wake up to more destruction.
We are innocent, play no part in this war, and have committed no sins.
And yet, we are missing out on an education as our schools are being destroyed. We are being denied our most basic rights of health, safety, and life.
The longer the war continues, the more children will die.
Disease will continue to spread, while health centres lack the medical supplies and vaccines needed to tackle them.
We could be forced to work just to be able to eat.
We are sad for our country, our families, and our friends.
And to the world, to all the big decision makers, we ask you to think of us before you wage war.
We want the world to do five things for us:
- Help stop the war and protect children’s rights.
- Investigate and monitor grave violations against children.
- Make sure children can still access education and rehabilitate damaged schools.
- Restock health centres with medical supplies and rehabilitate hospitals to treat diseases.
- Provide shelter and emotional support for children who have lost everything.
How you can help
The stakes could not be higher – but we can all help.
We can contact politicians and share these children’s message, we can donate to those who are risking everything to deliver life-saving aid, and we can help change the story for Yemen’s children.
Children like thirteen-year-old Noran*, who is wheelchair-bound after the blast wave from an airstrike knocked her down and seriously damaged her spine.
“I don’t want more children to be injured like me, it is not fair!
I call on all the free people around the world to stop the war in Yemen for me and for all the other children in Yemen. It’s our right to learn, it’s our right to build a bright future.”