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UN says 5,700 have been killed in Yemen conflict since March

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United Nations: The United Nations says 5,700 people have been killed in the conflict in Yemen since March 26, including 830 women and children, while efforts to coax all sides into another attempt at peace talks continue.

Meanwhile, basic services are collapsing in what was already the Arab world’s poorest country, the UN’s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw, told reporters today.

He said 21.2 million people, or 82 per cent of the country’s population, require some kind of humanitarian assistance.

Fourteen million people lack sufficient access to health care. And 1.8 million children have been out of school since the conflict began.

“Nearly 320,000 children are acutely malnourished,” he added.

He did not say how many civilians were among the 5,700 killed during the conflict.

The UN human rights office in late October reported that more than 2,600 civilians had been killed so far, about two-thirds of them by airstrikes.

Since March, a coalition led by neighboring Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States in support of Yemen’s internationally recognized government has been fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels who had seized large parts of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The international community has pleaded for months for the coalition to ease restrictions on crucial commercial imports such as fuel and medical supplies.

Van Der Klaauw said supplies of fuel, food, medicines and other supplies were dangerously low, while food prices have soared.

The conflict also has severely hurt international efforts to get aid to many places around Yemen.

The UN humanitarian coordinator said that about 120,000 people have fled the country during the fighting, and about 2.3 million people have fled their homes.

In addition, he noted that more than 8,800 human rights violations have been verified since the conflict began.

Last month, Human Rights Watch accused the UN Human Rights Council of failing to set up a fact-finding mission to scrutinize abuses in Yemen, saying members backed down under “intense pressure from Saudi Arabia.