New York,(ANN)-The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned that more than seven million children are facing a serious threat of famine in Yemen as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its atrocious aerial bombardment campaign against its crisis-hit southern neighbor.

“Today, 1.8 million children under the age of five are facing acute malnutrition, and 400,000 are affected by severe acute malnutrition,” Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF’s regional director in the Middle East and North Africa, said late on Wednesday.

Cappelaere noted that “more than half” of the 14 million people at serious risk of famine in Yemen are children.

“Ending the war is not enough. What we need is to stop the war and [to create] a government mechanism that puts at the center the people and children.

“The war is exacerbating the situation that was already bad before because of years of underdevelopment,” in the impoverished Arab country, he pointed out.

Cappelaere also welcomed a call by the United Nations to rekindle peace talks within a month.

He said efforts to come up with a solution to the ongoing Yemeni conflict within the next 30 days were “critical” to improving aid distribution and saving lives.

The high-ranking UN official said that over 6,000 children had either been killed or sustained serious injuries since 2015.

“These are the numbers we have been able to verify, but we can safely assume that the number is higher, much higher,” Cappelaere said.

On Thursday, a salvo of artillery rounds and mortar shells rained down on residential neighborhoods in the Shada’a district of Yemen’s mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada.

There were no immediate reports about possible casualties or the extent of damage caused.

A Yemeni member of a school administration inspects the damage on the first day of the new academic year on September 16, 2018, at a school that was damaged last year in a Saudi airstrike in the country’s third largest city of Ta’izz. (Photo by AFP)

Moreover, Yemeni army soldiers, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, targeted military vehicles belonging to Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi with roadside bombs in an area of the Khabb wa ash Sha’af district in the northern Yemeni province of al-Jawf.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.

According to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.

The Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

A number of Western countries, the United States and Britain in particular, are also accused of being complicit in the ongoing aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and military equipment as well as logistical and intelligence assistance.