A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed at least 180 people since April 27, the International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday.

Two years into a war between Houthi rebels and government forces allied with a Saudi-led Arab military coalition, which has killed more than 8,000 people, Yemen has declared a state of emergency in the capital Sana'a over the outbreak.

Fighting has taken a toll on medical facilities in the war-torn country, as more than half of Yemen's facilities, which are now operated by Houthi rebels, no longer function.

The U.N. says some 17 million of Yemen's 26 million people lack sufficient food and at least three million malnourished children are in "grave peril."

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick and other international officials met with the health ministry in the Houthi-run capital of Sana'a, urging aid donors to assist to avoid an "unprecedented disaster."

Yemen, which is the Arab world's poorest nation, is now classified by the World Health Organization as a level three emergency, alongside Syria, South Sudan, Nigeria and Iraq.

Cholera is highly contagious and can be contracted from ingesting contaminated food and water.

Source: Voice of America

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