UN food program wants wheat access after mortars start fire

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — The United Nations’ food agency is demanding access to its wheat stocks after fighting in the port city of Hodeida endangered its silos, setting two on fire.

The Red Sea mills located in eastern Hodeida appeared to have been hit by mortar fire, a U.N. statement said.

“This is the first time we are seeing conditions like this. We need this wheat,” said Lise Grande, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

Stephen Anderson, World Food Program country director, said access is needed to transport what’s left.

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The mills are housing 51,000 metric tons of wheat, almost a quarter of the World Food Program’s stock of wheat. Since fighting intensified in September and warring parties cut a main intersection outside Hodeida, WFP has had no access to the mills.

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