U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appealed for an end to the war in Yemen Friday and laid out steps those involved in the conflict must take to move forward.
Guterres' statement comes shortly after the death of seven-year-old Yemeni girl, Amal Hussain. Her photograph, taken by the New York Times’ Tyler Hicks, shook the world last week. In the image, her body is emaciated and skeletal.
Guterres warned that ongoing fighting would result in the country's worst famine in a decade, Reuters reports. Yemen is already facing famine.
His call to action comes three days after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pressed Saudi Arabia to agree to a ceasefire, and that U.N.-led negotiations to end the war should start November.
The nation has been devastated by a three-year civil war between the Houthis and the Yemeni government, backed by multiple foreign countries in a proxy war.
Former reports indicated a death toll of around 10,000 people. However, according to a study by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), the death toll is five times higher than previously reported. An estimated 56,000 people have died as a result of the conflict.
"Yemen today stands on a precipice. On the humanitarian side, the situation is desperate. We must do all we can to prevent the already dire conditions from deteriorating," Guterres said.