"The ICRC has announced it's stepping up its operations and doubling its budget for the country this year to 90 million dollars. It's estimated that 70% of the population in Yemen is in need of some form of humanitarian aid," the statement said.
The statement was issued Tuesday, when the United Nations co-hosted an aid-pledging conference for Yemen in Geneva, during which $1.1 billion was raised.
"The needs are massive and time is short. Famine threatens. At the root of the suffering is the ongoing conflict. It's ripping the heart out of the country. Only 45% of medical facilities are functioning. International humanitarian law is being flouted with civilians and civilian infrastructure paying the price," ICRC's director for the Middle East Robert Mardini said, as quoted in the statement.
According to Mardini, another major issue to be resolved is the imposition of restrictions on the import of goods and the movement of such goods and medicines within Yemen.
"Yemen depends on imports. People are suffering and dying not just from the fighting, but from from chronic illnesses and disease. We need to see this stranglehold relaxed," he stressed.
The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) characterizes the situation in Yemen as "the largest humanitarian crisis in the world" with 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian or defense assistance, including 10.3 million who require immediate aid in order to save or sustain their lives.
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