Fire Destroys WFP's Aid Warehouses In Yemen

- Apr 04, 2018-


SANAA, March 31 (Xinhua) -- A huge fire engulfed warehouses belonging to the World Food Programne (WFP) in Yemen's Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on Saturday, completely destroying the facilities filled with humanitarian aid, rebel Houthi-controlled state Saba news agency reported.

Saba quoted an unnamed local official in Hodeidah as saying that the fire damaged all humanitarian aid inside the warehouses.

Saba did not gave further details. WFP officials could not immediately be reached to comment on the report.

The firefighters put off the fire in the morning. It was not clear what caused the fire and how many storages were destroyed.

Ahmed al-Mazghabi, an official at the local council in the port, told Xinhua that the authorities launched an investigation into the accident.

Hodeidah, where 80 percent of Yemen's food imports arrive, is the only port kept by Houthi rebels after the Saudi-led coalition and the Yemeni government forces recaptured the southern port city of Aden along with other southern governorates in 2016.

The entire 25 million people of Yemen are dependent on food, fuel and medicine imports, primarily through seaports, and more than 17 million Yemenis, or more than two-thirds of the population, are food insecure, according to the United Nations.

Yemen has been locked in a civil war since three years ago after Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels overran much of the country militarily and seized all northern parts including capital Sanaa in late 2014.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military intervention coalition in Yemen since March 2015 to support the government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile.

The UN has listed Yemen as the country with the world's worst humanitarian crisis, where 7 million Yemenis are on the brink of famine and cholera has caused more than 2,000 deaths.