The United Nations appealed on Wednesday for $2.1 billion to provide food and other life-saving assistance to 12 million people in Yemen who face the threat of famine after two years of war, as there's confusion over Yemen's position on U.S. ground operations to fight al qaeda militants. Mia Womersley reports.
Asking for 2.1 billion dollars to save the lives of 12 million people in Yemen. The United Nations appealing for funds on Wednesday to provide food to those facing famine. The UN says nearly 3.3 million people, 2.1 million of them children, are acutely malnourished. Yemen has been divided by nearly two years of civil war. A conflict which pits the Iran-allied Houthi group against a Sunni Arab coalition, led by Saudi Arabia. At least 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting. Ongoing airstrikes are also damaging ports roads, bridges and markets. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. HUMANITARIAN AND RESIDENT COORDINATOR COORDINATOR IN YEMEN JAMIE MCGOLDRICK SAYING: "Fishermen can't fish, famers can't farm, civil servants don't get paid, so the ability for them to cope with that crisis has been exacerbated by the conflict, and so what you have is people having to make life and death decisions: 'Do you feed your child, or you children? Or do you pay for medical treatment for the sick child?' And that is a daily call for many families." UNICEF says about 63,000 Yemeni children died last year of preventable causes, often linked to malnutrition. Meanwhile, conflicting reports on Wednesday over the government's position on U.S. raids targetting al Qaeda militants. The New York Times reporting that Yemen has withdrawn permission for U.S. special operations ground missions on its soil. A nighttime raid on 29th January, approved by new President Donald Trump saw a Navy SEAL and civilians killed. A Yemeni official though told Reuters they have expressed concern but stopped short of a ban, saying there needs to be more coordination with Yemeni authorities before any action.