U.N. needs $1.6 bln for Yemen aid

The United Nations said that $1.6 billion was now needed to face a "looming catastrophe" in Yemen

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The United Nations said on Friday that $1.6 billion was now needed to face a "looming catastrophe" in Yemen.

"Over 21 million people or 80 percent of the population are now estimated to be in need of some form of humanitarian aid and or protection," U.N. spokesman Jens Laerke told a news briefing.

Stephen O'Brien, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, launched the revised funding appeal, telling donors that a "looming catastrophe" was in the making across Yemen with families struggling to find food, he said.

Also on Friday, at least 15 Houthi militiamen were killed in a Popular Resistance raid on a police station in the Kriter area in Aden, Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Friday.

Meanwhile, members loyal to Houthi militias shelled the historic Al Ashrafiya mosque in Taez while forces loyal to deposed leader Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed with Popular Resistance fighters.

Clashes between warring parties in Yemen erupted a day after the United Nations extended on Wednesday stalled peace talks taking place in Geneva, with both the exiled government and the Iran-backed Yemeni militias accusing each other of trying to sabotage the process, diplomatic sources told Al Arabiya News channel.

The sources said the Houthi delegation in Switzerland spoke about a ceasefire that would limit air strikes without mentioning anything about a cessation of hostilities on the ground.

The proposal was rejected by the legitimate government delegation which insisted on a full ceasefire.

The parties agreed on the need for a ceasefire but the details remain under discussion. Al Arabiya’s correspondent in Geneva said Houthis requested a humanitarian truce be declared ahead of talks, a condition the

Yemeni government has agreed on, only if Houthis and their supporters abide by the U.N. Security Council resolution 2216, passed in April.

Resolution 2216, which was adopted by the Security Council in April, requires Houthis to quit cities and hand over captured weapons.

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