Grain Stores in Yemen’s Hudaydah ’At Risk of Rotting’!
By Staff, Agencies
A vast store of grain that is desperately needed in the country on the brink of famine needs urgent access by aid groups.
Aid workers have not been able to reach the Red Sea Mills, on the frontlines in the Yemeni port city of al-Hudaydah, for five months.
The store holds enough grain to feed 3.7 million people for a month, but the UN warns it is now "at risk of rotting".
Back in December, the Yemeni warring parties agreed a ceasefire around the city.
On Monday, the UN's special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock, warned that the urgency of getting access to the Red Sea Mills facility south of the port was "growing by the day".
"The World Food Program [WFP] grain stored in the mills - enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month - has been inaccessible for over five months and is at risk of rotting," they said in a joint statement.
"At the same time, the United Nations is in the process of scaling up to provide food assistance to nearly 12 million people across Yemen who struggle to meet their daily food needs. Our main concern is for their survival and well-being."
The UN officials emphasized that ensuring access to the mills was a "shared responsibility among the parties to the conflict in Yemen".
Yemen has been devastated by a conflict that escalated in early 2015.
At least 6,800 civilians have been killed and 10,700 injured in the fighting, according to the UN. Thousands more civilians have died from preventable causes, including malnutrition, disease and poor health.