Yemen food reserves dwindling as war escalates — ICRC

Internally displaced people sit at a makeshift camp for IDPs in al-Jarahi, south of the Red Sea port city of Houdieda, Yemen, on February 22, 2017. (REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad)
Updated 28 February 2017

Yemen food reserves dwindling as war escalates — ICRC

GENEVA, Switzerland: Yemen has food reserves for only 2-4 months, bringing it to the brink of famine as fighting escalates, a senior official of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Tuesday on return from the country.
Robert Mardini, ICRC regional director for the Middle East, called for the lifting of restrictions on the import and movement of goods and voiced concern at the fate of 500,000 people in the port city of Hodeidah as the conflict moves north up the Red Sea coast.
The “lifeline” of aid moving through Hodeidah and other ports is starting to be cut, Mardini told reporters in Geneva. “If this happens of course it will add a huge burden on a swathe of the Yemen territory where millions of people live.”
“In terms of reserves, there are reserves for two, three or four months, I don’t know. But there is an urgent need for re-supply, this is what we can say.” (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)


Security conference told of ‘Iranian menace’ to shipping in the Gulf

Updated 23 min 22 sec ago

Security conference told of ‘Iranian menace’ to shipping in the Gulf

  • “Aviation and maritime security are at the top of the policy agenda in the region,” says Bahraini FM
  • Pompeo warned of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program

MANAMA: Delegates from more than 60 countries including Saudi Arabia met in Bahrain on Monday to discuss maritime security after attacks on tankers in the Gulf and Saudi oil installations, widely blamed on Iran.

“Aviation and maritime security are at the top of the policy agenda in the region,” Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa told the conference. “We must take a collective stand ... to take the necessary steps to protect our nations from rogue states.”

In a message to delegates, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program.

“This meeting comes at a critical moment in history,” he said. “The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery, whether by air or sea, poses a serious threat to international peace and security.

“Together, we must all be committed to taking the necessary actions to stop countries that continue to pursue WMD at great risk to all of us.”

Countries taking part in the conference, including Israel, belong to the Maritime and Aviation Security Working Group, created in February during a Middle East conference in Warsaw.

“The meeting is an occasion to exchange views on how to deal with the Iranian menace and to guarantee freedom of navigation,” Bahrain’s foreign ministry said.

After the tanker attacks, the US formed a naval coalition to protect navigation. Bahrain, which hosts the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, joined in August, and Saudi Arabia and the UAE followed in September. The UK and Australia are the other main Western partners.