By Isabelle Gerretsen
LONDON, Dec 5 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Peace talks between Yemen's Saudi-backed government and Houthi backed rebels in Sweden this week offer a critical opportunity to end civilian deaths, aid groups said on Wednesday.
Nearly four years of civil war have spawned the world's worst humanitarian crisis, killed tens of thousands of people and left more than 8 million facing famine.
"If the consultations fail, or stall, so too will hopes of halting Yemen's steady descent into hell" Mohamed Abdi, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"We will be forced to watch on as a population is suffocated by violence, hunger and grief."
Here are some facts about Yemen's war:
- The war has killed about 57,000 Yemenis, including more than 2,500 children.
- Half of Yemen's population, an estimated 14 million people, are on the brink of famine.
- Three-quarters of Yemenis, about 22 million people, are in need of emergency aid, including eight out of 10 children.
- 1.8 million children are severely short of food and 400,000 are suffering from life-threatening malnutrition.
- One Yemeni child dies every 10 minutes due to malnutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases.
- An estimated 2.3 million people, including 1 million children, are internally displaced in Yemen.
- Yemen needs billions of dollars to finance its 2019 budget and prevent a currency collapse, in addition to $4 billion in aid, according to U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock. Sources: Reuters, Norwegian Refugee Council, U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UNICEF, The Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (Reporting by Isabelle Gerretsen @izzygerretsen; Editing by Katy Migiro. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's and LGBT+ rights, human trafficking, property rights, and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)
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