Oct 07, 2020 12:26 UTC
  • UNICEF raises eyebrows with praise for Saudi ‘humanitarian’ role in Yemen

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has in a controversial move praised what it called Saudi Arabia’s “humanitarian” role in Yemen, closing its eyes to years of atrocities committed by Riyadh and its allies against the civilian population there, leaving a large number of children dead, maimed and malnourished.

Executive Director of the world body Henrietta Fore, in a letter sent to the so-called King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), lauded Saudi Arabia over what she described as regime's “generous support” for the projects of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Plan in Yemen 2020.

Fore went on to say that UNICEF will use the financial support to help Yemeni children and their families in different fields, including health, nutrition, water, sanitation and education.

The UNICEF’s praise for Saudi Arabia follows a decision by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on June 15 to remove the Saudi-led coalition engaged in an atrocious military campaign against Yemen from a blacklist, several years after it was first named and shamed for killing and injuring children in the impoverished country.

The move prompted immediate protests from human rights groups worldwide.

Jo Becker, the advocacy director of the children’s rights division at Human Rights Watch, argued at the time that Guterres was “adding a new level of shame to his list of shame by removing the Saudi-led coalition and ignoring the UN's own evidence of continued grave violations against children.”

Adrianne Lapar, director of Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, also said by removing the Saudi-led coalition “the secretary-general sends the message that powerful actors can get away with killing children.”

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