Middle East

UN official says Yemen on verge of collapse

The United Nations' humanitarian chief says that if the warring parties in Yemen do not reach a peace agreement soon, the country could collapse with menacing consequences for the entire region.

Stephen O'Brien told the Security Council on Monday that 80 percent of Yemenis, some 21.2 million people, need some form of humanitarian assistance and over 2 million people, including 370,000 children, are suffering from malnutrition.

Complicating matters, the country now has 61 confirmed cases of cholera and 1,700 more suspected cases, O'Brien said.

O'Brien addressed the council by telephone from Bahrain to report on the dire situation in Yemen which has been in the midst of a civil war since September 2014 when Shiite Houthis rebels swept into the capital of Sanaa and overthrew the country's internationally recognized government.