Seventy-five percent of Yemeni children suffer from acute malnutrition, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
In a Twitter post, the UN body said 16.2 million – representing more than half of the country’s population of 30 million – are food insecure.
Last month, the UN Security Council expressed “grave concern for the dire humanitarian situation (in Yemen), including prolonged starvation and the growing risk of large-scale famine, which is compounded by the dire economic situation.”
Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Iran-aligned Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises with 233,000 people dead, nearly 80% or about 30 million needing humanitarian assistance and protection, and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.
Conflict has escalated in recent months in various parts of the Arab country, including the central city of Marib where Houthi rebels have stepped up attacks to take control of the oil-rich province, which is also one of the most important strongholds of the legitimate government and home to the headquarters of Yemen’s Defense Ministry.