Geneva: The United Nations appealed on Wednesday for $2.1 billion to provide food and other life-saving assistance to 12 million people in Yemen who face the threat of famine after two years of war. "The situation in Yemen is catastrophic and rapidly deteriorating," Jamie McGoldrick, U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, said in the appeal document.

Yemen has been divided by nearly two years of civil war that pits the Iran-allied Houthi group against a Sunni Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia. At least 10,000 people have been killed in the fighting, which has unleashed a humanitarian crisis. In all, nearly 19 million Yemenis need assistance and protection.