12 million face famine in Yemen if bombs don't stop, WFP warns

Almost half the population is at risk of starvation under a blockade led by Saudi Arabia which the UN views as a potential war crime

United Nations humanitarian partners estimate that this population could rise to 13.4 million due to economic decline, including the depreciation of the Yemeni currency, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief United Nations spokesman.

At least 15 civilians were reported killed and 20 others injured when the minibuses they were travelling in were struck in Jabal Ras district in Yemen's western Hudaydah governorate, on Saturday.

"Since June, some 570,000 households have had to flee their homes from fighting in Hodeidah, while the Yemeni riyal has undergone an alarming depreciation, and the cost of basic food items has gone up by a third since this time a year ago", WFP Yemen country director Stephen Anderson told CNN.

United Nations warns that starvation could overwhelm country in next three months, with 13 million people at risk of starvationShe told the BBC: "I think many of us felt as we went into the 21st century that it was unthinkable that we could see a starvation like we saw in Ethiopia, that we saw in Bengal, that we saw in parts of the Soviet Union - that was just unacceptable".

Nearly 13 million people in the country - two-fifths of the population - are at risk of starvation if air-strikes by the Saudi-led coalition continue to rip up life and land, the agency says. Both cities are still under the rebel control.

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A civil war has engulfed the country after Iranian-backed Houthi rebels captured large areas, including the capital Sana'a.

Yemen has always been bombarded with airstrikes and subjected to strangling tactics of war.

Yemen's air, land and sea ports are now functioning, so WFP had several ships filled with aid headed towards Yemen, and is working to reposition stocks in case routes are cut off, he said. "We are doing everything we can to ensure access to these wheat stocks".

The Saudi-led coalition said its targeting operations in Yemen resembled the "highest global standards" and pledged to investigate the incidents uncovered by CNN.


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