GENEVA — A yearlong conflict is threatening to cause a humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries, the United Nations reported on Tuesday, saying that “children are paying the highest price.”
The effects of the conflict and the deteriorating humanitarian conditions have brought Yemen “to the point of collapse,” Unicef, the United Nations Children’s Fund, said in a report, adding that the country was at risk of becoming a failed state.
At least six children have been killed or maimed in the fighting every day for the past year, Unicef said, calling that “the tip of the iceberg” because that number represented only the cases that had been verified. The toll is almost certainly much higher, the organization said.
For the past year, a Saudi-led coalition has sought to re-establish the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which was driven into exile by Houthi rebels and their allies.
Mr. Hadi was able to reach the southern port city of Aden in September, but the front lines have hardly shifted since, despite a costly campaign marked by intensive Saudi-led airstrikes.
The Unicef report was released as the Saudi-backed government and the Houthi rebels prepared for a halt to hostilities scheduled to come into effect at midnight on April 10, and for a round of peace talks, the second this year, to start in Kuwait eight days later.