UN Food Program regains access to Yemen’s Red Sea Mills storage – Spokesman


United Nations humanitarian personnel have gained access to a major food storage facility in the Yemeni port city of Al Hudaydah for the first time since September, UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said in a press briefing, Trend reported citing Sputnik.

“A team from the World Food Programme (WFP) visited the Red Sea Mills”, Dujarric told reporters. “The World Food Programme is hopeful that Tuesday’s brief visit will pave the way for more sustained access, allowing it to carry out a full assessment of the conditions of the wheat and the milling facilities themselves”.

Aid workers had not been able to reach the Red Sea Mills, which holds enough grain supplies to feed 3.7 million people, for several months, because it lies along the front lines of fighting in Al Hudaydah. But earlier this month, Yemen’s warring parties began redeploying forces away from the port city as part of an agreement inked in Stokholm last December.

Under the so-called Stockholm Agreement, the Yemeni government and rebel Houthi movement pledged to implement a ceasefire, exchange prisoners and open humanitarian corridors in Al Hudaydah.

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government forces led by President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi and the rebel Houthi movement for several years. A Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis at Hadi’s request since March 2015. The conflict has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

According to the United Nations, 24 million people – or 80 percent of the population – are in need of humanitarian aid and protection in Yemen.