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SANAA, Yemen - Nearly half a million students have dropped out of school, since the civil war erupted in Yemen in 2015, UNICEF said, in a statement, on Tuesday. That brought the total number of out-of-school children to two million, it said.

Meanwhile, UNICEF said that, almost three-quarters of public school teachers have not been paid their salaries, in over a year, putting the education of an additional 4.5 million children at grave risk.

"An entire generation of children in Yemen faces a bleak future, because of limited or no access to education," said Meritxell Relano, a UNICEF representative in Yemen. "Even those who remain in school are not getting the quality education they need."

"The journey to school has also become dangerous as children risk being killed en route," Relano said.

"Fearing for their children's safety, many parents choose to keep their children at home. The lack of access to education has pushed children and families to dangerous alternatives, including early marriage, child labour and recruitment into the fighting," he said.

According to UNICEF's findings, close to three-quarters of women had been married before the age of 18, while nearly half had been married before age 15, according to a 2016 survey, across six governorates. UNICEF also said that, at least 2,419 children have been recruited in the fighting, since Mar, 2015.

Up to 78 percent of all Yemenis live in poverty: 80 percent need some form of social protection support, including cash assistance.

An estimated 1.8 million children under five years and 1.1 million pregnant or nursing women are acutely malnourished, representing a 128 percent increase since the late 2014.

About 16 million Yemenis, including close to 8.2 million children, need humanitarian assistance, to establish or maintain access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.

The number of people needing help to access healthcare has more than tripled -- from five million before the war, to 16 million today.


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