A student at the Aal Okab school in Saada City, Yemen stands in the ruins of one of his former classrooms, destroyed in June 2015 during the Yemeni Civil War. Students attend lessons in tents provided by UNICEF nearby. According to UNICEF, nearly twenty-seven per cent of school-age children are out of school, with nearly 1,700 schools unfit for use due to conflict-related damage.
After almost three years of civil war between two factions claiming to constitute the Yemeni government, Yemen faces a humanitarian crisis in 2017, with an alarming 19.5 million people – almost two thirds of the population – in need of emergency humanitarian assistance or protection, according to the United Nations. Since mid-2015, when Houthi rebel forces took over the capital city of Sana’a, at least three million people have fled their homes from regions now embroiled in a prolonged ground war. Over 11,000 civilian deaths and more than 50,000 injuries have been recorded in the multi-sided civil war.
Making a dire situation worse, a devastating cholera epidemic swept the country beginning in May 2017. The World Health Organization estimates that over one million men, women, and children will have been infected in Yemen by the end of 2017 with some 2,300 deaths recorded to date.
In October 2017, the UN placed the Saudi Arabian-led military coalition, which supports the former Yemeni government, on a list of parties that commit grave violations affecting children in situations of armed conflict. They found that the coalition killed or wounded 683 children and damaged or destroyed 38 schools and hospitals. In November 2017, the Saudi coalition began enforcing a total blockade in Yemen, preventing delivery of humanitarian aid and placing millions at risk of famine.
Giles Clarke is a photojournalist with Getty Images Reportage based in New York City.