UN agency seeks $2.1B to help war-stricken Yemenis this year

A U.N. agency is seeking $2.1 billion this year to help people in Yemen, where a nearly two-year conflict has left thousands dead in the Arab world's poorest country.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says some 18.8 million people, or more than two-thirds of Yemen's population, need assistance. Some 10 million of those are "acutely affected" and need assistance for food, water, health care and protection.

OCHA chief Stephen O'Brien said Wednesday that millions of Yemenis could face famine this year without international support.

The announcement marked the formal appeal from OCHA, which last month estimated needs this year of about $2 billion. OCHA last month estimated that some 10,000 civilians have died in the conflict.