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UN, aid organizations seek $716 million in aid for crisis-struck Yemen

Situation in Yemen requires immediate international action, aid organizations say.

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Two-and-a-half-year-old baby Anas weighs just 13 lbs. He is one of the 267,000 children with life-threatening levels of malnutrition in Yemen. (Joe Sheffer/GlobalPost)

United Nations' agencies and other aid organizations today requested $716 million in aid for Yemen, warning of a growing humanitarian crisis in the peninsula's poorest country, according to the Associated Press

Yemen, home to one of the world's most radical known terrorist networks, has been the scene of ongoing violence between the authorities and rebel militias holed up in the country's south.

The situation there has increasingly worried the global community, so much so that British Foreign Secretary William Hague today announced the country will convene a "Friends of Yemen" meeting on March 7 to discuss ways to combat what he called a "dire" security situation there, reported Agence-France Press

Meanwhile, aid organizations say growing malnutrition must be addressed, with nearly a million children under the age of five believed afflicted, reported Reuters. A recent UN report found that nearly almost half the population did not have enough food and 13 million have been cut off from safe water and sanitation services. 

The welfare of Yemeni citizens is also a subject of growing concern -- last week, a landmark UN study found that over a million Yemeni children are being illegally used for labor. 

Tens of thousands are also stateless, having fled the violence unleashed by the US-backed Yemen government's military campaign against the militants, said Reuters

The powerful Friends of Yemen group, which includes influential Gulf states as well as the five permanent members states of the UN Security Council, earlier promised $7.9 billion in aid to Yemen, according to Reuters

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/130122/un-aid-organizations-seek-716-million-aid-crisis-struck-yem