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