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Food supplies insufficient to prevent disaster in Yemen, warns UN

Image of UN medical and food aid in Taiz, Yemen, on 4 March 2017 [Abdulnasser Alseddik/Anadolu Agency]
UN medical and food aid in Taiz, Yemen, on 4 March 2017 [Abdulnasser Alseddik/Anadolu Agency]

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) has warned that although some food has started to reach Yemen, the quantities are “insufficient” to prevent a humanitarian disaster.

UNOCHA also stressed the importance of allowing fuel to be unloaded in Yemeni ports to enable the use of generators in hospitals and pumping stations, and the distribution of drinking water and food. The price of diesel has doubled in Yemen while the price of other fuel has increased by more than 70 per cent.

On Wednesday, the UN confirmed that two cargo ships have arrived in the port of Hodeidah carrying 35,000 tons of wheat and flour. The international body’s inspection and verification team has also inspected three vessels carrying some 65,000 tons of food destined for the war-torn country. The vessels are awaiting permission from the Saudi-led coalition to enter the port, said the UN.

The coalition announced in early November that it had closed all of Yemen’s ports after a rocket was fired towards Riyadh. However, a week later, it excluded ports and airports under the control of the legitimate government in the south and east of the country.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International has called on the US, Britain and France to put an immediate stop to the supply of weapons to the coalition, which it said impedes humanitarian aid operations, including the import of essential items.

Read: 25,000 tonnes of wheat and aid arrive in Yemen

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Amnesty InternationalInternational OrganisationsMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUNYemen