TEHRAN (Press Shia) – By the end of 2019, fighting in Yemen will have claimed about 102,000 lives, according to new figures from the United Nations that indicate the Saudi-led war has killed far more people than previously reported.
A UN-commissioned report by the University of Denver also revealed that more Yemenis were dying of hunger, disease and the lack of health clinics and other infrastructure than from fighting.
About 131,000 Yemenis will have died from these side effects of the conflict between the beginning in 2015 and the end of 2019, according to the 68-page study, called Assessing the Impact of War on Development in Yemen.
The combined death toll from fighting and disease is 233,000, or 0.8 percent of Yemen’s 30 million-strong population.
Researchers also said that those five years of conflict will have cost Yemen’s economy $89bn.
“It’s worse than people expected,” Jonathan Moyer, an assistant professor and lead author on the report, told Middle East Eye.
According to Moyer, the vast majority of the victims of Yemen’s war are children under five. The report says that one child dies from the war and its side effects every 11 minutes and 54 seconds.
“More can be done to stop this conflict and more should be done.”
Moyer’s team also projected forward, calculating Yemen’s losses if the war were to drag on until 2030.
If the Saudi aggression continues until then, the death toll would reach 1.8 million, the economy would have lost $657bn, 84 percent of Yemenis would be malnourished and 71 percent of them would live in extreme poverty, researchers said.
“The ongoing conflict in Yemen has already reversed human development by 21 years,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
“The study warns of the exponentially growing impact of conflict on human development. It projects that if the war ends in 2022, development gains will have been set back by 26 years – that’s almost a generation,” said Dujarric.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.