The World Food programme is sounding the alarm on an impending humanitarian disaster in Yemen.
Its Executive Director says the risk of famine has been heightened by the destruction of port facilities in Aden, meaning any aid that does arrive cannot be unloaded before people start to die.
Thirteen million Yemenis are now in a state of food insecurity says the UN, and six million of these, one in five of the population, are on the verge of starvation and in immediate need. But ports are blocked, runways pitted, and most roads are dangerous.
At every level of the food chain, from planting and importation to harvesting, husbandry and distribution the system is broken after months of unrest. Impoverished consumers struggled to buy what is available. Nearly two million children face “irreversible damage” if their diets do not improve soon.
“Because of lack of access, vulnerable populations are not receiving the food assistance that is necessary and we are seeing more children who are suffering from chronic malnutrition, we are seing more people without the food assistance that they need. So without clean water, without fuel, without food we are verging on a perfect storm for a catastrophic food event.
What we hope is that all the parties in this conflict recognise that the people of Yemen, the affected population cannot wait for a political solution. We must provide humanitarian access that is necessary across the entire country,” says the WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin.
The problems facing Yemen are of security, resources, reconstruction, and economic growth and investment. But what they really need right now is a joint effort from the international community. And quickly.
“The supply routes of humanitarian aid to the Yemeni people who been affected by the war remain the main obstacle faced by international organizations, which are demanding more international cooperation to overcome this,” reports euronews’ Mohammed Shaikhibrahim.