TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - "Yemen is on the brink of famine. Cholera is compounding a dramatic food crisis. Food is being used as a weapon of war," Elisabeth Rasmussen, the WFP assistant executive director, said at a conference on aid to Yemen on Sunday.
The United Nations has already described the ongoing conflict in Yemen as the "largest humanitarian crisis in the world." The war has left seven million people at risk of famine and an estimated 17 million, which amounts to about 60 percent of the overall population of the country, food insecure. Another 2,100 people have died of cholera since April as hospitals struggle to secure basic supplies across the country.
Saudi Arabia has been incessantly pounding Yemen since March 2015 in an attempt to crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstate the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of the regime in Riyadh.
Recently, the United Nations added Riyadh and its allies to a blacklist for the "killing and maiming of children."
Saudi Arabia has also maintained blockades on Yemen's ports and its main international airport in the capital Sana'a. Aid groups have warned that the closure of the airport is hampering the delivery of desperately needed supplies, which now have to go through the Red Sea port of Hudaydah.
Mark Lowcock, the UN under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, has demanded all parties involved in the conflict provide unhindered humanitarian access to civilians, Presstv reported.
"All parties to the conflict must provide safe, rapid, unhindered and sustained humanitarian access to people in need, through all ports and airports, in particular through Hudaydah port and Sana'a airport as well as by road," Lowcock said.
He added, "People in positions of authority in Sana'a regularly deny access to humanitarian agencies and have arbitrarily delayed or denied dozens of requests for humanitarian personnel to enter the country."
Riyadh's deadly campaign has seriously damaged Yemen's infrastructure. Local Yemeni sources have put the death toll from Saudi airstrikes at over 14,000 people.