Fire in the Red Sea Mills in Hodeidah is a blow to millions of hungry people [EN/AR]
Sana’a, 25 January 2019 – Reports from Hodeidah indicate that a fire at the Red Sea Mills on the eastern outskirts of Hodeidah City has damaged two silos. While the circumstances are being confirmed, it appears that the fire started as a result of mortar fire.
WFP currently has 51,000 metric tons of wheat stored at the Red Sea Mills, a quarter of its incountry wheat stock and enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month. WFP has been unable to access the Mills since September 2018 because of fighting.
“The loss of this wheat comes at a terrible time,” said Ms. Lise Grande, Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “More than 20 million Yemenis, nearly 70 percent of the entire population, are hungry.”
“The situation in Yemen is heart-breaking. A quarter of a million people are in a catastrophic condition, facing near starvation if assistance doesn’t get to them,” said Ms. Grande. “This is the first time we are seeing conditions like this. We need this wheat.”
Stephen Anderson, WFP’s Country Director said, “We are very concerned that some of our wheat stocks at the Red Sea Mills have been damaged. WFP urgently needs to get access to the Red Sea Mills so we can assess the level of damage and begin transporting the unaffected wheat stocks to areas of Yemen where it is desperately needed.”
WFP is providing food assistance to nearly 10 million people across Yemen and is scaling-up operations to reach 12 million.
The UN and partners requested USD 2.96 billion through the 2018 Humanitarian Response Plan to support millions of people in need across the country. To date, USD 2.57 billion, 87 per cent of the resources required, has been received.