The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that that two million children are out of school in Yemen, which has been the subject of a destructive Saudi-led military campaign for more than four years.

In a statement released on Wednesday, UNICEF representative in Yemen Sara Beysolow Nyanti said that a fourth of the two million Yemeni children have dropped out since the beginning of the Saudi war in March 2015.

As the new school year starts amid continuing violence in Yemen, 2 million children are out of school, including almost half a million who dropped out since the start of the US-Saudi coalition in March 2015.

The education of another 3.7 million children now hangs in the balance as teachers’ salaries have not been paid in over two years.

The UNICEF representative further raised concerns about the future of Yemeni children out of school, saying they “face increased risks of all forms of exploitation including being forced to join the fighting, child labor and early marriage.”

“They lose the opportunity to develop and grow in a caring and stimulating environment, ultimately becoming trapped in a life of poverty and hardship,” she added.

A new government statistics revealed that the losses and material damage to the education sector exceeded 61 billion and 18 million riyals due to the continued targeting of Saudi aggression against schools and educational facilities in Yemen from March 2015 to March 2019.

The statistics of the Ministry of Education confirmed that the aggression destroyed 3526 schools and educational facilities in various governorates which exceeded over than 21% of the educational facilities number operating in Yemen.

It explained that 402 facilities were completely destroyed while 1465 others were damaged. They were used as shelter for citizens whom their houses were bombed by the aggression air strikes, in addition to the closure of 666 facilities. – YP Agency