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UN says Yemen war escalating, millions could lose aid in March

UNITED NATIONS (AP) – The seven-year war in Yemen has witnessed a dangerous escalation, with January’s civilian casualties the highest in at least three years and eight million Yemenis likely to lose all humanitarian aid next month without urgent new funds, United Nations (UN) officials said on Tuesday.

UN Special Envoy Hans Grundberg and UN Humanitarian Chief Martin Griffiths painted a worsening picture of the already dire situation in the Arab world’s poorest nation.

They said the past month brought a multiplication of combat zones and the end of January saw nearly two-thirds of major UN aid programmes being scaled back or closed.

Yemen has been convulsed by civil war since 2014, when the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the capital, Sanaa, and much of the country’s north, forcing the government to flee to the south, then to Saudi Arabia.

A nurse tends to a malnourished child at a treatment centre in Yemen’s western province of Hodeida. PHOTO: AFP