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UN says war-torn Yemen 'living hell' for children

AFP  |  Amman 

Conflict-ravaged has become a "living hell" for children with thousands dying every year from and easily preventable diseases, a top UN said Sunday.

Geert Cappelaere, regional director for the and at UN children's agency UNICEF, called on the warring parties to join proposed peace talks later this month and agree to a ceasefire.

"is today a living hell -- not for 50 to 60 percent of the children -- it is a living hell for every boy and girl in Yemen," he told a conference in the Jordanian capital.

According to UNICEF, 1.8 million Yemeni children under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, and the lives of 400,000 severely affected children are under threat. Cappelaere said that 30,000 children die of each year in Yemen, while a child dies every 10 minutes from

He said the figures were "a reminder for all of us to realise how dire the situation has become".

"We call on all parties to get together later this month under the leadership of the UN .. and agree on a ceasefire and a road to peace for Yemen," he added.

The appeal came as fighting intensified in the key rebel-held port city of Hodeida, despite growing international pressure to end a conflict that has left the country on the brink of famine.

The port is the entry point for more than 70 percent of imports into the impoverished country.

and its allies intervened in the war in 2015 to bolster Yemeni after the Huthi rebels took over the capital

According to the World Organization, nearly 10,000 people have since been killed. Some rights groups estimate the toll could be five times higher.

The government said Thursday it was ready to restart peace talks with the Huthis, after a surprise call by the for an end to the war, including air strikes by the coalition.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, November 04 2018. 19:25 IST