UN delivered food for 9.5mln in Yemen last month: official


The UN food agency delivered emergency food and vouchers for over 9.5 million people in Yemen in December, just shy of its 10 million monthly target in the famine-threatened country, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

“We were at a bit less than 10 million because the actual situation slowed down a bit the distribution in some areas. The security is not as good as expected in some areas,” World Food Programme spokesman Herve Verhoosel told a Geneva news briefing, Reuters reported.

“Some of our trucks were also stopped for longer than usual in some security checkpoints.”

Verhoosel later clarified that the figures represented food aid that was “dispatched” to local distribution centers across Yemen but not all had been handed out to recipients yet.

UN-brokered peace negotiations between forces of Yemen’s ex-regime and the Houthis held in Stockholm last month yielded a shaky ceasefire deal in the lifeline port city of Hudaydah.

In January, the WFP managed to deliver food to more than 10,000 families in two hard-hit areas of Hudaydah – Tahita and Duraihmi – for the first time since July, thanks to a reduction in fighting, Verhoosel said.

“The truce is inconsistent, there are still some sporadic problems in and around Hudaydah.”

Saudi Arabia’s nearly four-year aggression against Yemen has left 15.9 million people, 53 percent of the population, facing “severe acute food insecurity”, and famine looms if immediate action is not taken, a survey said last month.

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