It also called on the warring parties to stop hostilities near the medical centre and allow those in need to safely access treatment, according to the UN official website.
In a statement, Henrietta H. Fore, the Executive Director of UNICEF, said that children, in particular, “cannot afford” for Al Thawra hospital to be caught up in the fighting.
“Medical staff and patients in the hospital have confirmed hearing heavy bombing and gunfire. Access to and from the hospital, the only functioning one in the area, is now imperilled,” she said.
According to the UN agency, there are 59 children currently at the hospital, including some 25 under treatment at its intensive care unit.
“[We] call on all parties to cease hostilities near and around the hospital, and to ensure that civilians can safely access the hospital from all sides,” added Ms. Fore, urging them to abide by their obligations under international law to protect civilian infrastructure from harm.
The head of UNICEF went on to note that further escalation in fighting will jeopardize the agency’s efforts to deliver lifesaving assistance to many in dire need, including acutely malnourished children.
In addition, there are reports that fighting has intensified around Hudaydah port – the lifeline through which nearly 80 per cent of humanitarian aid, fuel and commercial goods flow into the war-torn country, she added
“The toll in lives could be catastrophic if the port is damaged, destroyed or blocked,” she said.