Heavy fighting has broken out around the Yemeni aid port of Hodeidah,
the source for some 70% of all food consumed in the war-torn nation, as Saudi-backed forces attacked the Houthi Shi’ites in neighborhoods near the Hodeidah airport, and the Red Sea food mills.
The food mills are particularly important, with an estimated 51,000
tonnes of wheat therein. The UN is trying to get the ceasefire back in
place, and in particular warned attacking forces against targeting the
food aid, cautioning it could expose millions to starvation.
Saving the wheat doesn’t just mean not physically attacking it. The UN
World Food Programme says they need access to fumigate the aid to
prevent rotting. The Houthis say they can’t provide them safe access
right now, with fighting too close by.
The UN brokered a deal that was intended to get both sides’ fighters out
of Hodeidah, but has repeatedly stalled over issues, with both sides
worried they’ll draw down more and the other side will take advantage.