News ID: 203418
Published: 0303 GMT October 30, 2017

WFP: Food a 'weapon of war' in Yemen

WFP: Food a 'weapon of war' in Yemen

Beyond air raids, gun battles and port blockades, food is now a "weapon of war" in Yemen, the UN´s World Food Program said on Sunday, as millions face impending famine.

"Yemen is on the brink of famine. Cholera is compounding a dramatic food crisis. Food is being used as a weapon of war," WFP assistant executive director Elisabeth Rasmussen said at a conference on aid to Yemen, AFP wrote.

Local Yemeni sources say over 14,000 people have been killed since a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia began its aggression against the impoverished nation in March 2015.

Long the most impoverished country in the Arab world, the conflict in Yemen has left seven million people at risk of famine and an estimated 17 million — 60 percent of the overall population — food insecure, according to the United Nations.

Another 2,100 people have died of cholera since April as hospitals struggle to secure basic supplies amid blockades on ports and the country´s main international airport.

The Saudi-led coalition, which controls Yemen´s airspace and some ports, was this month added to a UN blacklist for the "killing and maiming of children".

Travel to Sana’a airport is under the control of the coalition and limited to a select few aid flights.

Aid groups have warned that the closure of Sana’a international airport is hampering the delivery of desperately needed supplies, which now have to go through the Red Sea port of Hodeida.

"All parties to the conflict must provide safe, rapid, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to people in need, through all ports and airports, in particular through Hodeida port and Sana’a airport as well as by road," said Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs.


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