A $67 million donation from the United Kingdom will provide a lifesaving boost to efforts to stave off famine for millions of Yemenis, the UN said on Monday.

The announcement by the World Food Programme (WFP) comes amid dwindling basic supplies to the country, linked to a blockade on air and sea ports by a Saudi-led coalition.

Almost three years of fighting between forces loyal to President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi and Houthi rebels have created a humanitarian catastrophe in the country.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The significant cash injection from the UK comes as the number of people on the brink of famine in Yemen continues to rise.

Some 8.4 million are "wholly dependent" on food aid to survive, and nearly three times more are in need of some form of humanitarian support, according to WFP.

Latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that more than 400,000 children now suffer from life-threatening severe acute malnutrition.

WFP plans to use the UK donation to help cover the "most basic" dietary needs of families and save them from falling "even deeper" into hunger.

Fuel is needed urgently too, amid an ongoing embargo on basic supplies to Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition that's fighting Houthi rebels, so the funding will help to establish a supply of diesel to run hospital generators.

Water treatment plants will also be kept in operation � essential amid a cholera outbreak that has affected nearly 1 million people across Yemen and claimed more than 2,300 lives.

Source: United Nations Radio

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