At least 182 civilians had been killed in Yemen between May 4 and 10 in "the deadliest period since fighting began in March", a UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) spokesman said on Tuesday.Over half of the reported victims were women and children, with 51 children and 41 women dying as a result of intensified fighting in the country, Xinhua reported.According to UNHCHR figures, the total number of civilian casualties since fighting began on March 26 had risen to 828. A further 1,511 had been injured."Close to half of the deaths reported over this deadly six-day period were caused by air strikes, particularly in the Sa'ada governorate," said the spokesman.
Mortar and sniper fire, as well as protracted fighting caused further deaths and injuries in at least four other governorates, including Aden.Official reports also confirmed that since the conflict began, some 66 public buildings and civilian infrastructure had either been damaged or completely destroyed.Amid this dire situation, the five-day ceasefire, scheduled to come into effect at 11 p.m. Yemeni time on Tuesday, would be critical in enabling aid agencies to deliver vital aid to the population.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reiterated the difficulty of aid assistance given the security situation and the lack of fuel and supplies in the country.A WHO spokesman said he hoped that as soon as the humanitarian pause came into effect, 11 tonnes of medical kits and supplies located in warehouses in Sana'a and Aden would be delivered to other governorates, something which hadn't yet happened due to widespread insecurity.The five-day ceasefire, if respected, would also enable much needed fuel and food to enter the country. According to experts, child malnutrition in Yemen currently rates among the highest in the world.