As Yemen’s health system continues to struggle to cope with the ongoing crisis of the war, aid workers are reporting a deep wound affecting the nations children, a wound of trauma that grows ever deeper with the ongoing crisis.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), at least 279 children have been killed and 402 have been injured since late March as a direct result of the escalating conflict between the Houthis and Yemen’s government in exile, and millions of children have been exposed to the threat of easily preventable diseases.
Many health workers have referred to the crisis in Yemen as a looming humanitarian catastrophe, referring not as much to the numbers with external injuries, as to those who are emotionally wounded and traumatised.
“They don’t have any protection environment to live in. They feel scared, they feel really insecure. The situation in Yemen is very critical, but especially for children, who are the most vulnerable group.” said Fatima Al Ajel, Save the Children’s Advocacy and Media Manager in Yemen.
And while the psychological scars faced by Yemeni children could lead to permanent damage, medics in Yemen barely even have the resources to cope with physical injuries and sickness.
According to UNICEF’s Dr Peter Salama, “Children are not being vaccinated, either because health centres do not have electricity or the fuel they need to keep vaccines cold and distribute them, or because parents are too frightened by the fighting to take their children to receive vaccinations. The tragic result is that children are going to die of diseases like measles and pneumonia that would normally be preventable.”
Meanwhile, just as the deteriorating medical conditions are a huge cause for concern, the continued fighting is also an ever present threat for children.
- Pray for Yemen’s children and those who are working to help them, both physically and emotionally.
- Pray for the resources that are desperately needed for hospitals and health workers to continue to care for the sick and wounded.
- Pray for Christians to work with traumatised children, who can show them love and share the heart of their heavenly Father with them.
- Pray that children in Yemen will have dreams of Jesus, and know that they are not alone, but are loved with an everlasting love.
- Pray for an end to hostilities in Yemen.
Psalm 103 vs 17: “But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children”