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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

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WATCH: Unicef says 'every 10 minutes' a child is dying in Yemen

The war-torn nation of Yemen is on the brink of famine. More than three years of fighting between the Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the UN-recognised government of Abdrabu Mansur Hadi has left the already impoverished country facing a dire humanitarian situation.

Since fighting began, more than 10,000 people have died and millions of people are at risk.

“Every 10 minutes in Yemen a child is dying from preventable diseases,” said Geert Cappelaere, the Middle East Director for Unicef. "The huge levels of malnutrition are one of the important underlying causes of that high mortality rate, but also the very low levels of vaccinations.”

The UN estimates 1.8 million Yemeni children are malnourished and more than 400,000 are suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

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Unicef says it needs to "urgently" secure funding to provide basic health and education services.

The UAE, which supports the Yemeni government, has pledged $4 billion in aid over the past three years.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres is urging an end to the war. He warned that continued fighting could result in the country's worst famine in a decade.

“Yemen today stands on a precipice. On the humanitarian side, the situation is desperate,” said Mr Guterres. “We must do all we can to prevent the already dire conditions from deteriorating.”