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UNICEF: Yemen Worst Place on Earth to Be a Child

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Food Aid Arrives in Yemen's Ports
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Food Aid Arrives in Yemen's Ports

UNICEF's Middle East director is calling Yemen one of the worst places on Earth to be a child and urging all involved in the fighting to let humanitarian aid keep coming in.

Geert Cappelaere told reporters in Amman, Jordan, Sunday that UNICEF was able to get nearly 2 million doses of vaccines delivered to Sana'a airport Saturday, but that such success should not be a "one-off."

Cappelaere said far more supplies are needed and that ships carrying food, chlorine tables for drinking water, and treatments for diarrhea and cholera are on their way to the port of Hodeida.

Workers unload an aid shipment from a plane at Sana'a airport, Yemen, Nov. 25, 2017.
Workers unload an aid shipment from a plane at Sana'a airport, Yemen, Nov. 25, 2017.

"More than 11 million Yemeni children are today in acute need of humanitarian assistance. That's almost every single Yemeni boy and girl," Cappelaere said. "To all parties and all those with a heart for children, please take your responsibility now."

He was talking about the responsibility for all those involved in Yemen to stop fighting and stop what he calls the war on children.

"Today we estimate that every 10 minutes, a child in Yemen is dying from preventable diseases," he said.

FILE - Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the Movenpick Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon, Apr. 25, 2017.
FILE - Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at the Movenpick Hotel in Beirut, Lebanon, Apr. 25, 2017.

The Saudi-led coalition trying to drive out Iranian-backed Houthi rebels from Sana'a promised last week to ease a blockade of the airport and Hodeida.

It shut down the facilities almost three weeks ago in response to a Houthi missile attack near the airport in Riyadh. The Saudis intercepted the missile.

Saudi Arabia blames the missile launch on Iran. Iran denies arming the Houthis.

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