In Yemen, a hospital was destroyed by a bombing.

An airstrike in Yemen destroyed buildings, including a pharmacy, next to the Kitaf Hospital in Yemen on March 26, 2019.

5 Times a Hospital Was the Target of Deadly Attack

Schools and hospitals must be zones of peace, where children are granted protection even in times of conflict. Yet, there is an increasing trend of hospitals and schools being attacked with devastating effects on children.*

Around the world right now, in places like Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, children are disproportionately suffering the consequences of war. Here are five tragic examples of times when a hospital was the target of a deadly attack. 

A children’s hospital and maternity ward in Mariupol, Ukraine

Reports that on March 9, 2022, a bombing has destroyed a children’s hospital in Mariupol, Ukraine are "devastating" said Irina Saghoyan, Save the Children's Eastern Europe Director. "This would show complete dismissal of the basic rights of innocent children - and be against international law." 

Newborn babies killed in a brutal attack on a hospital maternal ward in Kabul, Afghanistan

On May 12, 2020, a maternal and newborn health clinic in Kabul suffered a deadly attack.

"Newborn babies and women in labor were killed in cold blood," said Timothy Bishop, Save the Children’s Afghanistan Country Director. "This was a sinister, cowardly and calculated attack on women, children, and health workers."

In Yemen, eight people were killed in a bombing of a Save the Children-supported hospital

On March 26, 2019, a missile struck a gas station near the entrance to Kitaf rural hospital, about 60 miles from the city of Saada in the northwest of Yemen, at 9:30 am local time.

The hospital had been open for only half an hour and many patients and staff were arriving on a busy morning. They included a health worker who died along with their two children.

Also among the dead were two other children and a security guard. In addition to those killed and missing, an additional eight people were wounded in the attack.

The missile was said to have landed less than 50 yards from the facility’s main building on the fourth anniversary of the escalation of conflict in Yemen.

Babies, mothers and staff injured in a bombing of a maternity hospital in Idlib, Syria

On July 29, 2016, an airstrike on a vital maternity hospital run by Save the Children's partners in Idlib, Syria injured several babies and their mothers. 

The bombing took place at approximately 8:00 a.m. ET, hitting the front of the hospital building. Two people were killed in the attack.

Several babies were injured when their incubators crashed to the floor, and a woman who was six months pregnant had her leg severed. Two other women received shrapnel wounds to the stomach and a number of patients and staff suffered injuries. 

Are attacks on schools and hospitals a violation of international law?

Attacks on schools and hospitals during conflict is one of the six grave violations identified and condemned by the UN Security Council.  

The Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War prohibits the targeting of civilian objects, emphasizing the importance of schools and hospitals to the civilian population, especially children.

We must stop the war on children

Over 100 years ago, Save the Children was founded to help children who were suffering in the wake of World War I, and we remain committed to helping children caught up in conflict around the world. We must stop the war on children.

Our teams are on the ground delivering life-saving aid, including food, shelter and physical and mental health care. We’re protecting children, restoring education and reuniting families torn apart by war. 

We are also calling on world leaders to do more to keep children safe, uphold their rights and provide the resources they need to recover and restore their lives. 

Your donation to the Children's Emergency Fund can help support our lifesaving work for children caught in conflict. 


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