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Saudi Genocide: Humanitarian Catastrophe Looming in Yemen

July 1, 2015 (EIRNS)—The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF warned, yesterday, that because of the devastation of Yemen’s health system, millions of children are now under threat of preventable diseases, including measles, pneumonia, and diarrhea. The loss of electricity, and fuel shortages, mean that vaccines can no longer be stored and distributed, and, in any case, the fear of violence is preventing many families from bringing their children in to get vaccinated.

"Around 280 children have been killed directly in the conflict—that is very tragic in its own right," UNICEF’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, Peter Salama, told Reuters.

"But what is even more tragic is that hundreds of thousands more children might die if the conflict continues, and [the deaths] will be largely due to preventable infectious diseases combined with malnutrition,"

Salama said by phone from Amman.

The situation is so bad that the UN is expected to declare Yemen a so-called Level 3, or most severe, humanitarian crisis, as the de facto military blockade on commercial ships restricts the supply of food and fuel into the Arab world’s poorest country, reports the New York Times. The Level 3 designation is applied when "a humanitarian situation suddenly and significantly changes and, following an analysis of five criteria—scale, complexity, urgency, capacity, and reputational risk," according to the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, the body that makes the determination. The United Nations is offering to supervise commercial shipments to Yemen to ensure that no weapons get into the country, if the Saudi-backed Yemeni government will lift the blockade of Yemen’s ports, the Times further reports, but even that is stuck.