- Title: Yemen's orphans bear the brunt of conflict as funds dry up
- Date: 4th January 2017
- Summary: SANAA, YEMEN (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CHILDREN GATHERING, WALKING IN THE COURTYARD OF A SANAA ORPHANAGE SIGN READING (Arabic): "CARE AND REHABILITATION, HOME OF THE ORPHANS" CHILD WALKING IN ORPHANAGE HALLWAY CHILDREN SITTING IN A CLASSROOM
- Embargoed: 19th January 2017 11:46
- Keywords: Yemen orphans Sanaa orphanage war conflict
- Location: SANAA, YEMEN
- City: SANAA, YEMEN
- Country: Yemen
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA0015XO0MZ9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: For Yemen's orphans, one goal prevails above all else: survive to live another day.
Desperate and alone, they rely entirely on the ever-waning generosity of the government, private donations, and charitable organizations.
But Yemen's deteriorating humanitarian crisis and the ongoing civil war has depleted private and public resources and orphans' needs are often last on the list of priorities.
"We have used up the limited funds and aid that we were given and now the orphanage is threatened with closure," said Abdullah al Hindi, director of The Orphanage, Sanaa's largest government-run home for orphans.
"If the (Houthi-led) government doesn't come up with solutions to resolve the situation, these kids will face homelessness," he added.
The orphanage is home to 800 children. It is overcrowded and underfunded. Main meals are comprised of rice and some sort of sauce if they're lucky. Fruits, vegetables and meats are a rarity on the menu these days, if at all.
The grounds are run-down and dilapidated and classrooms are overflowing.
And as the war rages, the children are increasingly suffering from a constant state of fear, trauma and growing uncertainty.
"The (war) has really taken its toll on the orphanage, particularly on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of the children, the war has instilled fear and dread in them from the ongoing air strikes on the nearby neighbourhoods, whether they're targeting government or private institutions or residential neighbourhoods," said Hindi.
He said the children often wake from their sleep screaming and wetting themselves.
Many have run away, their fate unknown.
"Each day is harder than the next," said the orphanage director of the al Shoukani center Raje al Aqabi, home to some 300 orphans. "If the situation continues we will have a catastrophe on our hands for us, for others, for the county as a whole."
Nearly two years of war has decimated Yemen's already struggling economy, plunged millions into poverty, displaced millions of others, and killed more than 10,000 people.
The conflict continues with no end in sight as repeated attempts at peace talks and ceasefires between the warring parties, the Houthi-led militias and the Saudi-backed exiled government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, have failed to produce results.
According to UNICEF, one child dies in Yemen every ten minutes from preventable diseases, including malnutrition, respiratory infections and diarrhoea.
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