Paralysed girl, symbol of Yemeni child victims

Paralysed girl, symbol of Yemeni child victims



(22 Jan 2018) LEADIN:
Yemen’s war is ruining the lives of the country’s children.
In Taiz province, a 10-year-old girl is now paralysed after she was targeted by Houthi snipers.
STORYLINE:
While the other children play outside, Safa Sadeq is confined to her bed.
Her grandmother points to the problem – a bullet wound that has left the 10-year-old paralysed.
The attack was two months ago while she was looking after livestock.
“Then I walked and my sandal was cut and I walked, and surprisingly it (the bullet) hit me,” she says.
She’s another young victim of the violence in Yemen.
Her disability means she can no longer go to school or continue with her education.
And she longs for her old life.
“I want to study. I want to walk again like before. And I want to play with my brothers,” she says.
“I cry all the time, I want to go out and play with them and they stop me.”
The family lives in Osaiferah, west of the city of Taiz.
And Safa’s grandmother says they have had more than their fair share of tragedy.
Safa’s father was shot, but has been treated successfully. But his brother was shot dead and his father was killed by a mine a few months later.
Safa’s family leads a difficult life.
Her father Sadeq is the sole breadwinner and source of income for this family of 17 people.
“My wage, I rent, I don’t have money for rent myself, how do I move the children?” he says.
He says the Houthi rebels “provoke” him by targeting women and children.
According to UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, 75 percent of Yemenis need urgent assistance.
Most families living near the frontlines in Taiz city complain of lack of basic services.
“No aid reaches us,” says local resident Um Hamid.
“We are deprived, the whole place.”
The United Nations and its partners have appealed for nearly 3 billion US dollars in aid to Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition is at war with Iran-allied rebels known as Houthis.

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