Yemen’s stock of rice and wheat will be completely depleted in about 100 days if the Saudi-led coalition maintains its blockade on the country’s sea and airports, UN Secretary-General’s Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement on Monday.
In response to the launch of a ballistic missile aimed at Saudi Arabia’s capital by the Houthis, Riyadh announced on November 6 that it would temporarily close all ports in Yemen, the gateways through which the majority of the country’s population receive food, medical aid and other supplies delivered.
“The World Food Program says that there are 111 days until current stocks of rice run out and 97 days until current stocks of wheat run out,” UN Secretary-General’s Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement released on Monday.
“Without the import of critical commodities through a lifting of the blockade on all ports, including Hudaydah and Saleef, the situation will further deteriorate.”
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Saudi Arabia Ambassador to the United Nations Abdallah Y. Al-Mouallimi confirmed that steps are being taken by the Coalition to start the process of re-opening Yemeni airports and seaports within the next 24 hours.
By imposing the blockage, the coalition aimed to halt alleged arms deliveries to Houthis from Iran, which they claim supplied the intercepted missile.
Last Wednesday, UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said that the blockade might result in the largest famine in the world in many decades, bringing millions of victims.