Main Yemen's orphanage on the verge of survive

Thu, 05.01.2017 13:53

Hundreds of Yemeni orphans may be on the streets because of the lack of public funding. This was stated by the head of the country's largest children's home.

Children's Home Dar Ri'ayat al-Aytam in Sanaa trying to deal with a lack of funds from the time when Huthis seized the capital in the autumn of 2014. In recent months the situation has worsened.

Abdullah al-Hindi, the head of the orphanage, said that almost two years of war had decimated the economy, and there have been severe cuts to public spending.

"The orphanage is at threat of closure and the children could face loss and displacement unless there are immediate solutions from National Salvation Government and well-wishers," he told the Reuters news agency.

The National Salvation Government was formed by the Houthis and elements loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in early October to assert control over large swathes of territory they control.

"If more money isn't made available soon the orphanage will close and some of Yemen's most vulnerable children will be homeless," al-Hindi added.

Fadel al-Qahtani, a child living at the orphanage, spoke of dire conditions, adding that on most nights, the more than 800 children housed there would go hungry.  

"We used to have complete meals, including stew, fruit and meat - there were even extras to go around. But now, we don't get anything other than rice," he said.

According to figures released last month by UNICEF, on average one child dies every 10 minutes due to preventable diseases such as malnutrition, diarrhoea and respiratory infections.

More than 2.2 million children are in need of urgent care, and at least 462,000 suffer from severe acute malnutrition - a drastic increase of about 200 percent since before the war.

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Source: Al Jazeera.

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