SPECIAL ENVOY OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR YEMEN MARTIN GRIFFITHS and UNDER-SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS AND EMERGENCY RELIEF COORDINATOR MARK LOWCOCK
11 February 2019 – The urgency of United Nations access to the Red Sea Mills in Hodeida is growing by the day.
The World Food Programme (WFP) grain stored in the mills – enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month – has been inaccessible for over five months and is at risk of rotting. At the same time, the United Nations is in the process of scaling up to provide food assistance to nearly 12 million people across Yemen who struggle to meet their daily food needs. Our main concern is for their survival and well-being.
We are encouraged by recent engagement of all sides, working with the United Nations on the ground, to create the necessary conditions for the team to reach the mills without further delay. We acknowledge the confirmation from Ansar Allah of their commitment to implement the Hodeida Agreement. We appreciate their earlier efforts to re-open the road leading to the mills which have been carried out under difficult and dangerous circumstances.
We emphasize that ensuring access to the mills is a shared responsibility among the parties to the conflict in Yemen. With safe, unfettered and sustained access, the United Nations can make this urgently needed food available to people in need.