也門有300萬名嬰兒在戰爭中出生

 

也門有300萬名嬰兒在戰爭中出生

An infant who was born prematurely receives treatment in Alsadaqah Hospital, Aden, Aden Governorate, Yemen, Saturday 16 September 2017.

The poorest country in the Middle East and one of the poorest in the world, Yemen has gone through decades of underdevelopment, economic decline, frequent outbursts of conflict, waves of violence and a fragile rule of law.  In December 2017, almost every single child in Yemen is in need of humanitarian assistance.   More than 11 million children now need humanitarian assistance to survive.  Only 45 per cent of all health facilities are fully functional and more than half of the country’s children are not able to access safe drinking water or adequate sanitation.  An estimated 1.8 million children are acutely malnourished. Among them 385,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are fighting for their lives. Nearly 2 million children are out of school, including nearly half a million who dropped out since the conflict escalated in March 2015. Over 1 million people have fallen sick from suspected cholera or acute watery diarrhea. Children under 5 years old account for one quarter of all cases. Children born since the conflict escalated are now facing crippling delays in their social, emotional and cognitive development. Women are giving birth in deplorable conditions, already sick and malnourished themselves. Babies are being born premature and sick, and many don’t make it past their first month of life. If they do, they face an early childhood of malnutrition and emotional stress, lack of play and stimulation.

© UNICEF/Fuad

早產嬰兒在也門亞丁省阿登阿爾薩達加醫院接受治療。

薩那/香港,2018116─聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)最新報告指出,也門自2015年3月衝突升級已有超過300萬名嬰兒出生。在戰爭中出生的嬰兒飽受暴力、流離失所、疾病、貧窮、營養不良侵害,亦缺乏食水、醫療、教育等基本設施及服務。

也門一整個世代的兒童在成長,但他們的世界只有暴力。UNICEF駐也門代表雷拉諾表示,也門兒童在承受不屬於他們的戰爭後果。「基本服務崩潰導致兒童患上營養不良及疾病蔓延,即使他們能繼續生存,也會對身心造成永久傷痕。」

報告指出:

  • 衝突中有超過5,000名兒童被殺或受傷─2015年3月時平均每日有5名。
  • 幾乎所有也門兒童急需人道救援,人數超過1,100萬名。
  • 也門超過一半兒童無法獲得安全食水或適當衞生設施。
  • 約180萬名兒童患急性營養不良,當中近40萬名嚴重營養不良兒童正掙扎求存。
  • 近200萬名兒童失學,當中50萬人在2015年3月衝突升級時已輟學。
  • 疑似霍亂和急性水樣腹瀉病例已影響超過100萬人,5歲以下兒童佔所有病例的25%。
  • 每4名女童中,有3名在18歲前結婚。
  • 醫護人員和老師一年內只收到部分工資,影響450萬名兒童的教育。少於一半衞生設施正常運作。
  • 截至2017年9月底,有256間學校被完全摧毀,150間學校用作收容流離失所者,23間學校被武裝團體佔領。

即使在2015年衝突升級前,也門已是中東最貧窮的國家,也是全球其中一個最窮的國家。也門經歷數十年衝突、發展遲緩、經濟衰退、公共基礎設施和服務被破壞,大部分兒童和家人只能靠人道救援生存。

報告呼籲衝突各方、對衝突各方有影響力的國家及國際社會透過以下方式優先保護也門兒童:

  • 立即達成和平的政治解決方案,阻止暴力事件發生。
  • 在衝突期間無條件保護兒童,以遵守國際人道法所規定的義務。
  • 持續及無條件支援也門每名有需要的兒童。禁止限制也門進口貨物。糧食及燃料對應付饑荒及支援醫院和供水系統至關重要。
  • 防止醫療、供水系統、教育等社會服務全面崩潰。醫護人員和老師需要獲付工資。
  • 提供足夠資金以維持援助。今年,UNICEF支出港幣336億元籌募呼籲,以應對也門兒童的迫切需求。