UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- The UN humanitarian chief Tuesday warned against aid funding shortage in Yemen, saying that current resources are expected to run out by the end of March.
"Funding is quickly becoming their biggest challenge," UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock said at a Security Council meeting on the situation in Yemen, urging the international community to contribute generously.
About 24 million people, or approximately 80 percent of the country's population, need humanitarian assistance and protection, with some 20 million people requiring help to secure food, he said.
Almost 20 million people have no access to adequate health care, nearly 18 million lack enough clean water or access to adequate sanitation, and more than 3 million are acutely malnourished, he added.
"Without adequate resources, the aid operation will grind to a halt at a time when more people need more help than ever before," he said.
It will cost more than 4 billion U.S. dollars to deliver all the life-saving and protection programs set out in the 2019 UN-coordinated response plan.
Emphasizing that humanitarian agencies are hoping to help 15 million Yemenis -- half the country's population -- in 2019, he said next week's high-level pledging conference to be convened by the UN Secretary-General in Geneva is an important opportunity for the international community to make clear its commitment to save lives as efforts continue towards a political solution.
"I urge member states to attend the Geneva meeting at a senior level and to pledge generously," he said, underlining that Yemen's people need a realistic chance for a better future.