Saudi oil tanker hit in Houthi attack off Yemen

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Past year s Yemen appeal for $2.5 billion, which was 73 percent funded, but the needs have intensified in a country battered since 2015 by a Saudi-led military offensive aimed at repelling Iran-backed Huthi rebels who control the capital.

The UN has said that three-quarters of Yemen's population - about 22 million people - need some form of aid.

"Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis", Guterres said, calling the situation "catastrophic".

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen claimed Houthi rebels attacked an oil tanker in the Red Sea on Tuesday.

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Riyadh has repeatedly accused the Houthis of acting as a proxy force for Shia Iran, Saudi Arabia's arch-foe in the region.

The funding brings the total USA humanitarian assistance for the war-torn country to over $854 million since 2017.

"There was never a humanitarian solution for any humanitarian crisis", he said.

"We need to find the ideal solution which is a return to the talks table, to put an end the war, to return to a sustainable system supported by the people of Yemen", he said, adding that this should include "the putschist parties" - referring to the Houthis - and those supported by the global community.

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In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies - who accuse the Houthis of serving as a proxy force for Iran - launched a wide-ranging military campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains and shoring up Yemen's Saudi-backed government. "I urge all parties to engage with my new Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, without delay", Guterres said.

Guterres said he saw "positive perspectives" for preparing a plan of action "to lead to an effective inter-Yemeni dialogue able to achieve a political solution, with of course the involvement of all those that are relevant in this conflict".

According to the United Nations, 8.4 million people are on the verge of starvation in Yemen, where food imports are essential to sustain the population.

Last week, Saudi air defences intercepted a flurry of missiles, and falling debris caused the first death in the capital Riyadh.

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"All ports must remain open to humanitarian and commercial cargo, the medicines, food and the fuel needed to deliver them", he added.

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