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Yemen headed for world's worst famine in 100 years, World Food Program says

October 16,2018 04:25

... access to its 51,000 tons of wheat stocks at the critical red Sea Mills facility, which is sufficient to feed 3.7 million of the hungriest people in northern and central Yemen for one month,” the World Food Program's Yemen director, Stephen ...



October 15, 2018 at 10:06 PM EST - Updated October 15 at 10:06 PM

YEMEN (CNN) – Yemen is on the brink of the worst famine anywhere in the world in 100 years, according to the World Food Program.

The organization told CNN on Monday that without a dramatic increase in aid, another 3.5 million people in the country could soon require food assistance, bringing the total to 12 million.

As scrutiny grows around allegations of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s involvement in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, criticism is also growing around the three-year civil war in Yemen in part being stoked by MBS, as he known by his initials, and the Saudi government.

“Civilians in Yemen are not starving, they are being starved,” Jan Egeland, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, told CNN. “Let it be known that the worst famine on our watch is wholly man-made by Yemen’s local conflict parties and their international sponsors.”

CNN was sent exclusive footage, by Houthi rebel-backed Ansar Allah Media, showing the aftermath of a direct strike by a Saudi-led coalition plane on Saturday.

Local officials said 19 people were killed as they attempted to flee the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah.

The city is the site of a fierce struggle between the US-backed, Saudi-led coalition, and the Iran-backed Houthis.

As ever in war, the victims are too often innocents caught in the crossfire.

“Due to the highly volatile situation in Hodeidah city, WFP does not have access to its 51,000 tons of wheat stocks at the critical red Sea Mills facility, which is sufficient to feed 3.7 million of the hungriest people in northern and central Yemen for one month,” the World Food Program’s Yemen director, Stephen Anderson, told CNN.

The fighting around Hodeidah’s port and an incessant Saudi-led air bombardment, agencies said, has created a perfect storm - one that leaves the parties to the conflict and their international backers with blood on their hands.

In the US, the drumbeat of criticism among lawmakers is growing on both sides of the political aisle.

“One of the strong things we could do is not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. “But most importantly get out of this terrible, terrible war in Yemen led by the Saudis.”

This is in spite of President Donald Trump’s avowed support for Saudi Arabia, including rather large arms sales.

“I would not be in favor of stopping a country from spending $110 billion dollars, which is an all-time record,” the president said last Thursday.

In Yemen, they’re just hoping all the talk will finally result in action that alleviates some of the suffering from the devastating conflict.

Copyright 2018 CNN. All rights reserved.

Famine,Yemen famine,Saudi Arabia,US in Yemen war,Mohammed bin Salman,Hodeidah,Stephen Anderson,World Food Program,Yemen food assistance,Donald Trump,President Trump,Bernie Sanders

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