Politics, Middle East

UN warns of rotting food access in Yemen

In less than a week, UN again seeks access to large food depot 'out of bounds' since last September

UN warns of rotting food access in Yemen

By Riyaz ul Khaliq


The UN renewed its call for access to food stored at the Red Sea storage facility.

“Food aid for millions of Yemenis is at risk of rotting in a key Red Sea storage facility because conditions are too unsafe to reach it,” UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths and Mark Lowcock, UN Emergency relief chief, said in a joint statement on Monday.

On Friday, Lowcock said that nearly 10 million people across Yemen remained “just a step away from famine” because the large food depot -- Red Sea Mills -- on the outskirts of Hudaydah had been "out of bounds" since last September.

“Urgency of getting to the Red Sea Mills in the key port city of Hudaydah was growing day by day,” said the UN official.

The UN statement said that there was “enough food” to feed 3.7 million people for a month” at the food facility.

“With safe, unfettered and sustained access, the United Nations can make this urgently needed food available to people in need,” Lowcock said.

Ensuring access to the mills is a “shared responsibility” of the parties in the Yemen conflict, emphasized Lowcock and Griffiths emphasized in an appeal to Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Houthi militia.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Houthis overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies -- who accuse the Shia Houthis of serving as Iranian proxies -- launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

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