A blind Yemeni child at a protest against the US-Saudi coalition attack on the al-Nour Center for the Blind in Sana’a, Yemen, on January 10, 2016 (Credit: VOA/Almigdad Mojalli)

Preventable deaths of 63,000 Yemeni children in 2016 don’t spark outcry

Approximately 63,000 Yemeni children needlessly died of preventable causes in 2016 alone, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). Many of these deaths were linked to malnutrition and treatable diseases. And 63,000 is a conservative estimate.

This staggering statistic was reported in passing in January, but has rarely been mentioned since. It got little attention, while media outlets fixated laser-like on the crimes of US enemies, such as Syria, Russia, and Iran.

Meanwhile, in the months since, the US and Saudi Arabia have ramped up their war in Yemen, exacerbating the worst humanitarian crisis in the world — a catastrophe they created.

The bombing and blockade the US and Saudi Arabia have unleashed on Yemen for more than two years get little attention in the media, yet alone in formal politics.

“Because of the crumbling health system, the conflict and economic crisis, we have gone back to 10 years ago. A decade has been lost in health gains,” Meritxell Relano, UNICEF representative in Yemen, told Reuters in January.

She noted that 63 out of every 1,000 children born in Yemen were dying before their fifth birthday.

And things are only getting worse and worse, at an accelerating pace.

PBS reported on April 28, “In Yemen conflict, preventable diseases are a deadly side effect for children.” PBS did not mention the US-Saudi bombing or blockade. In fact, it did not even acknowledge the crucial role the US and European powers have played in fueling the conflict.

Nor did PBS mention the 63,000 Yemeni children who lost their lives last year alone for no reason.

The needless deaths of tens of thousands of Yemeni children should be one of the biggest scandals filling the headlines of all media outlets today — but it is the US that is guilty, not a Western enemy, and there is ergo little attention.


Originally published at bennorton.com on May 1, 2017.