The United Nations relief wing on Friday warned of famine-like conditions unfolding in Yemen, as a blockade on aid and other essential goods by a Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels there enters its 12th day.

Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), sounded the alarm during the regular bi-weekly news briefing in Geneva.

He was responding to a question from a journalist who asked him to clarify a warning yesterday from UN aid chiefs that the closure of air, sea and land ports in Yemen threatened millions of vulnerable children and families.

It means that these are the number of people in areas where there's an IPC4 � Integrated Phase Classification 4 � which is the last step before obviously 5, which is famine [] But you are correct, there may be as we speak right now, famine happening, and we hear children are dying. I mean, there's excess mortality as a cause and consequence of undernourishment.

Yemen imports up to 90 per cent of its daily needs, including fuel, which has now reached crisis levels.

Reserves are in such short supply that three Yemeni cities have been unable to pump clean water to residents in recent days, according to UN partner the Red Cross.

This has left one million people at risk of a renewed cholera outbreak, just as the country emerges from the worst epidemic in modern times.

Source: UN News Centre

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