The depravity of the ongoing fighting in Yemen is sinking to new lows. The World Food Program said today that it was forced to divert a shipment of food aid from the Port of Aden because of “ongoing security threats.” The shipment had departed from Djibouti and contained enough food to feed 60,000 Yemenis for one month. Now, that food aid is stranded at sea, unable to reach people who desperately need it.
You can’t blame the WFP for being unable or unwilling to dock Aden is currently the midst of two days of intensified airstrikes as Saudi war planes bomb targets in the city, which is mostly under the control of Houthi rebels. Saudi-backed forces and Houthi militia are presently engaged in fierce, ongoing battles in parts of the city. It’s literally a war zone.
Yemen is desperately in need of food aid. Before the conflict, the country–which is the region’s poorest–needed to import 90% of its food supply. About 10 million people were considered food insecure before the outbreak of conflict. Today, that number has increased by 2.5 million people, says the WFP.
These food shipments from Djibouti are absolutely vital to keeping people alive. Aden is the largest and most important port in Yemen. If it is suddenly off limits to relief vessels, then an already dire humanitarian situation in Yemen is about to get much, much worse.
Learn more about the crisis in Yemen and what can be done to stop this death spiral.