THE United Nations warned Tuesday that Yemen was on the verge of widespread famine.

''There is now a  clear and present  danger  of an imminent and great big famine engulfing Yemen,''  UN Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said.

He urged a humanitarian ceasefire around facilities involved in food aid distribution, and infrastructure, in a meeting of the  Security Council convened on the British initiative because of the deterioration in Yemen.

The parties to the conflict continue to violate humanitarian law,'' and while earlier UN estimates put those in danger of famine at 11 million, the real number being facing it now is 14 million people.

Since the last UN warning in September, ''the situation [on the ground] has gotten worse,'' Emergency Relief Coordinator Lowcock said.

Yemen's brutal conflict has since 2015 left some 10,000 people dead and has created what the UN  has dubbed the worst humanitarian crisis. [Agencies]


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