UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations special envoy for Yemen says it faces daunting security, economic and political challenges and that a recent peace agreement among its major parties is the only way to move the impoverished country forward.

Jamal Benomar briefed the U.N. Security Council on Thursday. Shiite rebels known as Houthis took control of much of the capital, Sanaa, in September. Benomar said the peace deal and formation of a new government that followed were signs of slow progress.

The council's president later read out a statement calling Yemen's security situation extremely fragile.

Meanwhile, Yemen is struggling after Saudi Arabia dropped its aid to the government over the Houthis' takeover of Sanaa.

Benomar says the humanitarian situation is bleaker than before, and more than half of the population needs aid.