WASHINGTON (AP) A report from the United Nations that paints a grim picture of the lives of millions of civilians in Yemen says nearly 1.2 million civilians have died since the civil war began in March 2015.
The U.N. report, released Friday, said Yemen has become a “terrible humanitarian disaster.”
has said its humanitarian mission is limited and focused on protecting civilians.
The report, titled “The Spoils of War,” comes amid growing criticism from Yemenis that the United States and other Western powers have been slow to take action to halt the humanitarian catastrophe.
The Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Shiite Houthi rebels, who control much of Yemen’s south.
The United Nations said about half of Yemenis have been forced to flee the country.
The Houthis have also targeted schools and other civilian targets.
“The humanitarian situation in Yemen is worsening every day,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation Samantha Power said.
“Every day, we witness civilians, including children, die in the line of duty in the most horrific circumstances.”
The report found that the number of civilians killed in Yemen has increased from more than 1.5 million in January to 1.6 million in March, a number that is likely to rise.
“At the same time, the number, and the intensity, of attacks on civilian infrastructure in Yemen continues to increase,” the report said.
It said civilians had also suffered from malnutrition, disease and exposure to bombs and missiles that are now being dropped by Saudi-backed forces.
The conflict has led to the displacement of millions.
In February, the U.NS. estimated more than two million Yemenis were displaced from their homes and said some 4.2 billion Yemenis had lost their lives in the conflict.
Power said the U,S.
must continue to pressure Saudi Arabia to stop its support for the rebels.
“We need to make clear to the Saudi government that its support of the Houthis is in violation of its international humanitarian obligations,” she said.
Power called for a U.K.-led effort to isolate the Houthi-led rebels.