UNITED NATIONS, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Fierce battles in Yemen's Marib governorate prompted the United Nations to begin flying aid in on Tuesday to meet increasing relief needs for thousands of displaced civilians, UN humanitarians said.
"Nearly 20,000 people have been displaced by violence in the region since early February, and dozens of civilians have been killed or injured," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said. "Humanitarian organizations are on the ground responding to these growing humanitarian needs."
The World Food Programme (WFP) on Tuesday inaugurated regular UN Humanitarian Air Service flights to Marib, slashing flying time from Djibouti from seven hours to two.
"Over recent weeks, hostilities have also escalated in other parts of Yemen, causing devastating loss of life and hardship for Yemenis, many of whom are on the brink of starvation," the humanitarian office said. "The UN continues to call for a nationwide cease-fire."
The United Nations and partners urgently appeal for more support to sustain their life-saving aid response in Yemen, OCHA said. The 3.85 billion U.S. dollar humanitarian response plan for this year is only 34 percent funded.
Over five years of conflict in the country have left thousands of civilians dead and 3.65 million internally displaced. Enditem