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US-Saudi war on Yemen has killed 377,000 people – UN estimate

An estimated 377,000 Yemenis have died in the US-Saudi war on their country, and roughly 70% of deaths were children under age 5, according to a comprehensive United Nations report.

Yemen war Saada airstrike
The aftermath of a US-backed Saudi airstrike in Sa'ada Yemen in August 2015 (Photo credit: UN OCHA / Philippe Kropf)

(Se puede leer este artículo en español aquí.)

The death toll of the US-UK-Saudi-Emirati war on Yemen is estimated to be at least 377,000 individuals, as of the end of 2021.

More than two-thirds of these Yemenis killed were likely children.

These statistics come from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), which reported in November that the number of deaths by direct and indirect causes in Yemen was projected to surpass 377,000 by the end of 2021.

March 2022 will mark the seventh anniversary of this war, which has caused the largest humanitarian crisis on Earth.

Saudi Arabia initiated the war in March 2015 by launching airstrikes on its southern neighbor, with support and weapons from the United States, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates.

Approximately 60% (226,000) of these estimated Yemeni deaths were because of indirect causes, according to the UNDP, such as preventable diseases or a lack of access to food, water, and healthcare.

Roughly 40% (151,000) of these Yemenis suffered violent deaths, whether from US-backed Saudi airstrikes or front-line fighting.

The UNDP said 70% (264,000) of the estimated Yemeni deaths were children under age 5.

Yemen deaths chart UN

15.6 million Yemenis live in extreme poverty, and 8.6 million suffer from under-nutrition, according to the report.

The UNDP added that Yemen’s economy has suffered an estimated loss of US $126 billion in potential gross domestic product (GDP) since 2015.

“If war in Yemen continues through 2030, we estimate that 1.3 million people will die as a result,” the report added ominously.

The war on Yemen gets very little media coverage, and is rarely mentioned by political leaders in the United States.

President Joe Biden claimed during his presidential campaign that he would end the war. In February 2021, the president announced that the United States would end support for “offensive” Saudi operations in Yemen – although by their very nature, all Saudi operations in Yemen are offensive, because the wealthy monarchy initiated the war by bombing its neighbor, the poorest country in West Asia.

Yet the Biden administration has continued selling weapons to Saudi Arabia, and the war on Yemen has only escalated since the Democratic president entered office.

Violence in Yemen is at the highest levels since 2018, with a civilian killed or wounded every hour on average.

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