RNA - "The situation in Yemen is catastrophic and rapidly deteriorating," Jamie McGoldrick, UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, said in the appeal document, Middle East Eye reported.
"Nearly 3.3 million people, including 2.1 million children, are acutely malnourished."
Yemen has suffered nearly two years of invasion by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia. At least 13,100 Yemeni people have been killed in attacks, which has unleashed a humanitarian crisis in the desperately poor Arabian Peninsula country.
In all, nearly 19 million Yemenis, more than two-thirds of the population, need assistance and protection, the UN said.
"Ongoing air strikes and fighting continue to inflict heavy casualties, damage public and private infrastructure, and impede delivery of humanitarian assistance," it said.
"The Yemeni economy is being wilfully destroyed," it added, saying that ports, roads, bridges, factories and markets have been hit.
An estimated 63,000 Yemeni children died last year of preventable causes often linked to malnutrition, the UN children's fund, UNICEF, said last week.
"The under-five mortality rate has increased to the point that we estimate that in 2016 at least 10,000 more children died of preventable diseases," Meritxell Relano, UNICEF representative in Yemen, told Reuters in Geneva last week.
Relano said a decade of development had been lost and the rate of severe acute malnutrition had tripled between 2014 and 2016 to 460,000 children.
"In Yemen, if bombs don't kill you, a slow and painful death by starvation is now an increasing threat," Jan Egeland, secretary-general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, said in a separate statement as the UN appeal was launched.