The United Nations is urging the world to provide $274 million in aid to help save lives and protect some 7.5 million people affected by the escalating conflict in Yemen.

In a statement Friday, the U.N. says that along with its partners in Yemen it needs the funds to purchase medical supplies, safe drinking water, food assistance, emergency shelter and provide logistical support.

Fighting between Shiite rebels and forces loyal to exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi intensified in March, and a three-week-old Saudi-led airstrikes' campaign in support of Hadi has so far failed to halt the rebels' advance or get them to lay down their arms.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs says that the turmoil has killed hundreds of people and displaced at least 150,000.