The United Nations and individual donors are rushing food to a desperate corner of northern Yemen where starving villagers were found to be living off leaves. Aid officials are searching for ways to ensure aid reaches those in need amid alarm that the country’s hunger crisis is worsening beyond the relief effort’s already strained capabilities.
At the moment, two-thirds of the population (18 million inhabitants) do not know where to get food. Moreover, the fighting at the port of Hodeidah may lead to famine in Yemen. “The heavy fighting at the port has had a negative impact on the food industry, and a continued violation of port operations for another four weeks could lead to a full-scale famine,” says Efraim Palmero, a director of the Agency Development and Relief Agency (ADRA).
According to Richard Stanford, a humanitarian policy adviser of Oxfam, the situation in Yemen and the possible ceasefire should be discussed during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. It should be noted that last week, UN Deputy Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and High Relief Coordinator Mark Lawcock told the World Security Council that the situation in the world’s most impoverished country of Yemen is close to disaster – the number of residents who do not have regular food may soon increase by almost up to 11.5 million people.