The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is also supporting the Yemeni health ministry to carry out a six-day campaign to immunize 1.7 million women of child-bearing age against tetanus. The campaign, which started on Sunday in 14 governorates, will last until Thursday.Both the back-to-school and immunization campaigns, supported by UNICEF, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Save the Children, CHF International and other partners, aim to contribute to progress towards reaching the poverty reduction and social development targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for Yemen by the 2015 deadline.More than a quarter of all school-age children in Yemen do not attend school. The problem is more acute in Sa’ada, Amran and Hajjah governorates, where the majority of school-age children are out of school as a result of a protracted conflict between the Government and al-Houthi rebels.“Education is one of the most critical contributions to peacebuilding,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Representative in Yemen. “Many children in Yemen have been deprived of education for too long because of the conflict, and we welcome the commitment from all sides to actively contribute to the success of this campaign.”During the past decade, Yemen has improved under-five and maternal mortality indicators, one of the many MDG targets. Significant challenges, however, remain. Coverage of tetanus immunization for women of child-bearing age, for example, is still only 20 per cent.“As we count down to the 2015 deadline for the MDGs, we have fallen far short of our commitments and promises to the children of this country,” Mr. Cappelaere said. “There is an urgent need for the Government and development partners to accelerate efforts and increase investment in order to meet our MDG targets and make a real difference in the lives of the children and women of Yemen.” 12 October 2010An estimated half a million children in Yemen, including some from refugee and internally displaced families and other conflict-affected youngsters, are headed back to classrooms as part of a major campaign organized by the education ministry, United Nations agencies and their partners.