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Grain milling has resumed in a starvation-threatened Yemen after shelling damage caused production to come to a standstill towards the end of December, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) revealed on Monday, according to Reuters. 

Milling first halted when grain stores at the Red Sea Mills in Hodeidah were damaged after being fired at on Dec. 26. It resumed again shortly after on Dec. 30.

In the middle of a civil war, Yemen is struggling to feed its citizens.

Since its start in 2015, over 100,000 people have died and millions have been displaced from their homes.

The brutal conflict has also caused widespread hunger in the region. Yemen’s food supply has taken a hit and millions are on the brink of famine. More than 85,000 children under the age of 5 have died of starvation since the start of the war, according to a 2018 Save the Children report

In addition, more than 2 million Yemeni children are malnourished and no longer in school, and 80% of the overall population is dependent upon humanitarian aid.

As a result, the UN labeled the ongoing conflict the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) has ranked it the top humanitarian crisis to watch for the second year in a row.

As a commercial port, Hodeidah is a major point of contention in the war. The UN is currently attempting to carry out a ceasefire, which was initially agreed upon nearly a year ago during peace talks in Stockholm.

The Red Sea Mills are also right in the line of fire between forces belonging to former Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Iran-backed Houthi militia, who first launched the conflict in 2014 when they overthrew Hadi’s government. 

Grain stores in the mills were temporarily untouched for six months in 2018. After careful negotiation, the UN was able to gain access to the stores to save the grain from rotting and found enough to feed at least 3.7 million people for per month. 

So far, 4,500 tons of grain has been milled into flour, WFP reported.

While the Stockholm peace talks aimed at ending the five-year conflict, troops have refused to withdraw from the region. Nevertheless, the UN is attempting to re-engage in negotiations to finally put an end to the devastating war. 


Defeat Poverty

UN Resumes Grain Milling in Starving Yemen After Shelling Damage

By Catherine Caruso