Over 22,000 Yemenis displaced as Marib violence intensifies
More than 22,000 Yemenis have been displaced since February as a result of the violence in the central province of Marib as the Houthis escalate a campaign to capture the territory from government forces, the UN has announced.
Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the Secretary-General of the UN, expressed concern in a press conference on Friday over the level of civilian harm in Yemen, including Marib, where violence has displaced tens of thousands of people in the past few months.
He added that Yemen's economy is collapsing, as the value of its currency fell to record levels earlier this month, which means that more people will not be able to afford food and basic commodities.
Dujarric wanred that more than half of the country's population is facing food insecurity, and five million people are on the verge of starvation.
The renewed fighting over Marib comes after the failure of a diplomatic push by the United Nations, the United States and regional nations to secure a ceasefire in Yemen.
The outgoing UN envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on Tuesday told the Security Council his own efforts over the past three years to end the war have been "in vain".
"It is with deep regret that I report today that the parties have not overcome their differences," he said.
Yemen has been devastated by the civil war which broke out in 2014, and millions of civilians are on the brink of famine, according to the UN.
The Houthis have repeatedly demanded the re-opening of the airport in the rebel-held northern capital of Sanaa before agreeing to any ceasefire.
As well as the bloody offensive in Marib, the Houthis have also stepped up drone and missile strikes on Saudi targets, including its oil facilities.
Saudi air defences on Saturday intercepted and destroyed 11 drones fired at the kingdom by Houthi rebels in Yemen, Saudi state media reported, quoting the coalition battling the insurgents.