The humanitarian organization Save the Children warned today in a report about mental health problems suffered by children who have been immersed in the conflict in Yemen for almost four years.
The British organization illustrates the situation of these children from the testimonies of one of the children who survived an attack on a school bus in August, in which about 40 children died.
"We were happy, we were going to play, when we got to the market it was full of people, everything was as always, then the shooting started, I could not find my friends, I began to feel the pain of my friends and my own pain," Khaled explained. , 12, in a statement from Save the Children.
The child was hospitalized for 22 days in a hospital, his mother told the British organization.
Save the Children warns that Yemen is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children today, and estimates that a Yemeni child has been able to live more than 18,000 aerial bombardments during his life.
The conflict means that children are constantly exposed to extreme violence, which puts them at great risk of suffering psychological damage.
"The Yemeni children have seen their friends and family die before their eyes, or be buried in the rubble of their demolished houses," says the organization.
"They have seen how their schools and hospitals were targets and were destroyed, and how they were denied access to food and medicine," he adds.
Yemen has practically no services dedicated to mental health problems nor can it offer the necessary support to children who suffer from stress.
More than half of all health centers in the country have closed or operate only partially and, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO), only 40 psychiatrists worked in the country in 2017, which is equivalent to to about one psychiatrist for every 700,000 people.
"Children make up almost half of the population in Yemen and are exposed to a huge amount of stressors," said Kelly McBride, health counselor, "given the stage of development they are in." mental in Save the Children.
"Without having security in their lives, they are unable to acquire the most basic skills they need to survive," McBride added.
The director of the organization in Yemen, Tamer Kirolos, said, meanwhile, that "brutal violence, including the use of explosives and firearms, continues to pose an unacceptably high price for children."
"The consequences of this conflict will have a lasting impact on the country for years, and it is imperative that the international community unite to ensure that these children receive the help they need," he said.