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UN appeals for $3 billion to save Yemen

Children have suffered more than most in the Yemen war [Getty]

Date of publication: 21 January, 2018

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The UN has made a desperate plea for $3 billion to 'save millions' in Yemen, as war, poverty and disease continues to put civilians at risk of death.

The UN made a record appeal for aid to Yemen on Sunday, calling for nearly $3 billion to save the war-torn country plunged into a desperate humanitarian situation.

The body requested $2.96 billion for humanitarian aid to respond to an ever-broadening crisis in the country - where war, looming famine and cholera have killed thousands.

Millions more remain at risk in what has been described by refugee agencies as one of the world's most pressing humanitarian crises.

More than 11.3 million Yemenis "urgently require assistance to survive", UN aid agency OCHA said in a statement.

"A generation of children is growing up in suffering and deprivation," OCHA said.

"Nearly two million children are out of school, 1.8 million children under the age of five are acutely malnourished, including 400,000 who suffer from severe acute malnutrition and are 10 times more likely to die if they do not receive medical treatment."

Around 10,000 Yemenis have been killed - mostly civilians - since a Saudi-led military coalition intervened to back the country's internationally-recognised government in 2015.

Nearly 2,200 more Yemenis have died of cholera amid deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions, the World Health Organisation says.  

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Yemen's humanitarian situation worsened due to a crippling blockade of rebel-held ports by the Saudi-led coalition.

Houthi rebel militias have also blockaded cities such as Taiz, which have led to horrifying scenes in hospitals.

More than three-quarters of Yemen's population - 22.2 million people - are now dependent on aid in Yemen, the United Nations says.

Some 8.4 million Yemenis are also at risk of famine, according to OCHA.

In 2017, international donors provided $1.65 billion of the $2.34 billion requested by the United Nations and humanitarian partners in Yemen.

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