Feb 11, 2019 17:54 UTC
  • UN urges access to grain stocks in Yemen’s Hudaydah

The United Nations (UN) has warned that there is an urgent need for making grain warehouses accessible in the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah and that the sustenance stored there is “at risk of rotting.”

In a joint statement on Monday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths and UN aid chief Mark Lowcock highlighted the urgency of obtaining access to the UN stores at the Red Sea Mills, which are believed to contain enough grain to feed several million people for a month.

Saudi Arabia, which has been leading a coalition of its allies in a war on Yemen, has blockaded all routes to the country, putting it on the verge of widespread famine.

“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,” the statement by the UN officials read.

The UN is pushing for the implementation of a ceasefire in Hudaydah, the main entry point for most of Yemen’s imports, agreed in December last year in Sweden. The breakthrough deal also calls for the withdrawal of both Saudi-led forces and the Yemeni defense units from the city, and the deployment of UN observers there.

The warring sides disagree over who should control Hudaydah once combat forces withdraw. The Yemeni Ansarullah movement, which has been running Yemen, says the other side has repeatedly violated the truce agreement.

A UN-appointed committee tasked with monitoring the agreed ceasefire in Hudaydah started a new meeting in early February.

In their Monday statement, Griffiths and Lowcock said they appreciated earlier efforts by the Ansarullah “to re-open the road leading to the mills which have been carried out under difficult and dangerous circumstances.”