Floods triggered by heavy rain killed at least 17 people early Tuesday in eastern Yemen. 

The health ministry’s office in Marib province said eight children were among the dead.

A state of emergency was declared at all hospitals in the region.

The Yemeni government called on the UN to help those suffering from floods in various provinces of the country.

Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in March 2015 after Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the capital Sana’a and forced President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

Over five years of conflict have left thousands of civilians dead and 3.65 million internally displaced, according to the UN.

Nearly half of Yemen’s over 30 million people need immediate assistance to sustain or save their lives.

The World Food Programme says that despite ongoing humanitarian assistance, at least 15.9 million people wake up hungry every day.

It is estimated that in the absence of food assistance, this number would rise to 20 million.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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