Ship Carrying Food Docks At Aden Port to Meet Humanitarian Needs in Yemen
A United Nations World Food Program (WFP) ship carrying food assistance arrived in Aden earlier this week. It was the first WFP-chartered ship to berth at the port since conflict erupted in Yemen in March. The food will provide assistance for people in the contested southern areas of the country.
The MV Han Zhi with 3,000 tons of food—enough to feed 180,000 people for a month—docked at Aden’s oil port of Al-Buraiqa. Although it had arrived off Aden on June 26, it was forced to wait over three weeks for a safe window to berth.
“This is a major breakthrough for our humanitarian response in Yemen,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP regional director for the Middle East. “While we have been able to reach several southern areas by land, docking at the port of Aden allows us to accelerate our response to meet urgent needs in southern Yemen. In the coming days we hope to reach more people, not only in Aden but throughout Yemen.”
WFP made repeated attempts to send ships to Aden, all of which until today were blocked due to severe fighting in the port area. Despite insecurity and extreme difficulties reaching Aden by road, WFP has delivered food to displaced families. Through its local partner, WFP last reached Aden on July 14 with emergency food assistance for more than 27,000 people.
More WFP-chartered ships are on stand-by near Aden carrying fuel and food. WFP is working to channel food through Aden to people in need of humanitarian assistance particularly in Yemen’s southern areas, which are largely inaccessible because of fighting.
Since April, WFP has reached more than two million conflict-affected and severely food insecure people in thirteen of Yemen’s governorates.
“WFP has done everything possible to reach people affected by the conflict in Yemen,” Hadi said. “We mobilized our logistical capacities, hired vessels and brought food and fuel into the country under very challenging circumstances. We have assisted many Yemeni children, women and men in dire need. However, we will not rest until we reach all of those who are in need.”
A recent food security assessment estimated the number of food-insecure people in Yemen at close to 13 million. This includes more than six million severely food insecure people who cannot survive without external assistance.