Girls as young as 3 being sold for food, shelter in Yemen - Oxfam

A shocking report from Oxfam says families in Yemen are selling their daughters as young as three to stave off hunger.

The humanitarian organisation says conflict, rising food prices and plummeting incomes in the Middle Eastern country are forcing people to resort to desperate measures.

"Since the escalation in conflict in 2015, food prices in Yemen have soared while household incomes have plummeted, pushing the costs of basic foods beyond the reach of many," the report says.

In February, leaders from all over the world met in Geneva to discuss aide for humanitarian work in Yemen.

According to the Associated Press, the United Nations hopes to raise $4 billion this year for Yemen to help combat the crisis.

"Twenty million people cannot reliably feed themselves or their families," said the UN Secretary-general Antonio Guterres in Geneva.

"Almost 10 million are just one step away from famine."

Oxfam says a family in Yemen sold their three-year-old daughter for marriage so they could buy food and shelter and save the rest of the family.

"Although early marriage has long been a practice in Yemen, marrying off girls at such an early age in desperation to buy food is shocking."

Members from Oxfam spoke to nine-year-old Hanan who had to stop going to school since she was married.

"My mother-in-law keeps beating me, and when I run away back to my father's house, my father beats me again for running away. I don't want to be married," she told Oxfam.

It says conflict has forced many families to flee to isolated parts of the country, with limited access to water, food and other necessary facilities.

Oxfam's Yemen Country Director Muhsin Siddiquey said the international community needs to take some responsibility, saying the crisis in Yemen is a "direct result of a man-made humanitarian catastrophe caused by the conflict".

"Only an end to the conflict can halt the downward spiral that is forcing people to take desperate measures. All warring parties and their backers need to fully commit to a nationwide ceasefire and take concrete steps towards a lasting peace."