Pandemic, funding gaps seen fuelling violence in Yemen

LONDON: Gender-based violence has surged by 63 per cent since the conflict erupted in Yemen in 2015, aid groups said on Monday, warning that the pandemic was exposing inadequate funding for protection services in war zones around the world.
Globally, at least 40 million people affected by war are at risk of exploitation, abuse and trafficking due to “chronically underfunded” protection programmes, said a report by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) and the United Nations.
“When people don’t have any other option, they will take desperate measures which put them at high risk of trafficking, exploitation, abuse or forced labour,” said Suze van Meegen, NRC’s interim director of advocacy.
“(We need) to actually start talking about protection and prioritising the protection of civilians because food isn’t enough to keep people alive,” van Meegen said.
In Yemen, more than two-thirds of Yemeni girls are being married off by the age of 18 as economic fallout from COVID-19 exacerbates the country’s woes, the report said. — Thomson Reuters Foundation