UN: Grain stores in Hodeidah in Yemen are "at risk of rotting "

UN: Grain stores in Hodeidah in Yemen are "at risk of rotting "

United Nations special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith said on Monday that the urgent need to reach the besieged grain depots on a line of fighting in the coastal city of Hodeidah is increasing as the grains are "at risk of rotting."

He added that World Food Programme (WFP) grain stores in the Red Sea mills have been inaccessible for more than five months and are at risk of "rotting".

Cereals are enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month.

The war in Yemen almost four years ago claimed tens of thousands of lives, caused the collapse of the economy and pushed millions of people to the brink of famine.

The United Nations is seeking to implement a ceasefire and withdraw troops from Hodeidah, the main entry point for most of the country's imports, as agreed in December in Sweden.

Access to the 51 thousand tons of United Nations-provided wheat and grinding equipment at the main combat front is a key objective of the ongoing peace talks.

The Yemeni conflict is between the Houthi movement allied with Iran and a Saudi-led coalition seeking the return of the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was taken out by the Houthis from Sanaa in 2014.

Negotiations between the two warring parties last week resulted in what the United Nations termed an "initial settlement" on how to withdraw the troops but were not finally approved.

Griffith said he was optimistic given the recent involvement of all parties in the talks aimed at finding a way to reach the mills.

"We stress that ensuring access to Mills is a shared responsibility of the parties to the conflict in Yemen," he said in a statement. Through secure, continuous and unrestricted access, the United Nations can provide this badly needed food to the needy. "

The international organization is expanding its operations to provide assistance to 12 million people across Yemen who are struggling to meet their daily food needs, said a joint statement by Griffith and UN humanitarian aid coordinator mark Lowcock.


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