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Two million Yemeni children out of school (UNICEF)

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) —

Conflict and poverty in Yemen will prevent 2 million children from going to school this year, according to statistics released by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) on Wednesday to mark the start of the new school year.

“With ongoing violence in Yemen, 2 million children are out of school, including nearly half a million who have dropped out of school since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015,” Amnesty said in a statement.

She also warned that the education of another 3.7 million children out of seven million school-age children in Yemen is “at stake as teachers’ salaries have not been paid for more than two years.”

Since 2014, Yemen has been at war between Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the government of recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.Fight intensified in 2015 as Saudi Arabia intervened at the head of a military alliance in support of government forces.

The war has claimed about 10,000 lives and more than 56,000 wounded since 2015, according to the World Health Organization, but a number of humanitarian officials believe the actual toll is much higher.

“Conflict, delayed development and poverty have deprived millions of children in Yemen of their right to education,” said UNICEF Representative in Yemen Sara Beslo Niyanti.

“Violence, displacement and attacks on schools” prevent “many children from reaching schools,” she said. “One in five schools in Yemen can no longer be used as a direct result of the conflict.”

In 2016, teachers’ salaries were suspended after a war between the Houthi rebels and the government led to the collapse of the economy. In the past year, UNICEF has provided cash incentives to more than 127 teachers and school staff, according to the statement.

“When children do not attend school, they are exposed to innumerable risks of exploitation, abuse and other rights violations,” she warned.

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