Appeal launched to aid hunger-stricken civilians in Yemen

Updated: 

A charity appeal has been launched to help civilians facing hunger in war-torn Yemen. 

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which represents 13 UK aid charities, said the country was at "breaking point" following 20 months of conflict as it announced the fundraiser. 

More than seven million people in the country did not know where their next meal would come from and many children are dying from malnutrition, the organisation said. 

It comes after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he had "deep concern" about the suffering of Yemenis but backed the Saudi Arabia-led military intervention in the country.

Riyadh is supporting the internationally-recognised government of Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi rebels but thousands of people have been killed in the conflict. 

At a press conference on Sunday following meetings with King Salman and Saudi ministers, Mr Johnson said: "I should just stress as far as Yemen is concerned, Britain supports the Saudi-led campaign to restore the legitimate government and we have continued our dialogue on the conduct of this operation, a detailed dialogue.

"Of course, we continue, like everybody in this room and around the world to have a deep concern for the suffering of the people of Yemen."

The British Red Cross, Oxfam, Save The Children and Christian Aid are among the charities supporting the Yemen Crisis Appeal, which will be launched on major broadcasters on Tuesday. 

The DEC said member charities were already reaching "millions of people" with aid but said: "Much more needs to be done to help those in dire need."

:: Donations to the appeal can be made by calling 0370 60 60 900 or at www.dec.org.uk