UN reaches agreement with Houthis to resume food deliveries

The World Food Programme (WFP) has reached an agreement in principle with the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah) to resume food aid to areas of Yemen they control, AFP reported Thursday (July 18th).

Malnutrition is widespread in Yemen after four years of war, but the UN suspended deliveries of food aid to areas held by the Houthis last month following accusations of "diversion of food".

The new agreement with the Houthis will allow food to be quickly delivered to Sanaa, though the two sides have not formally inked the deal yet, WFP chief David Beasley told the UN Security Council.

"I can say that we have made substantial progress," he said during a meeting to discuss Yemen, in which he joined UN humanitarian officials in underlining the dire situation in the country.

"Around 30 million people live in Yemen, and more than two-thirds of them are food insecure. That is 20 million women, men, boys and girls," he said.

While warning of a "dire and worsening humanitarian situation", UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths said a fragile ceasefire in al-Hodeidah "may finally allow us to focus on the political process before the end of this summer".

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