AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Aid agencies on Tuesday launched an international appeal for $1.8 billion for 2016 to ease the suffering from a year of fighting in Yemen, where 21 million people now need help.
The appeal comes at a time of growing competition for funds meant to alleviate the fallout from protracted conflicts in the region. The war in Syria, which has displaced millions of people, is entering its sixth year later this month.
Aid agencies are "very concerned that Yemen is a smaller crisis in a region that is sort of ravaged by the big crisis" in Syria, Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, told The Associated Press.
In this climate, the Yemen appeal is limited to the "most severe life-saving needs," McGoldrick said.
The aid would target 13.6 million people, or about 65 percent of those requiring some help, he said.
This includes millions who struggle daily to get enough food and have no access to clean water.
Aid groups estimate that about 2.5 million people have been displaced inside Yemen by the nearly year-long conflict which has killed more than 6,100 people.
The fighting is pitting the government, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, against Shiite rebels known as Houthis.