The World Food Program (WFP) said its team arrived on Sunday at the Red Sea Mills in the coastal city of Hodeida in western Yemen and began to process rotting grain after a delay of two months.
A WFP technical team arrived in the eastern outskirts of Hodeidah on Sunday to begin cleaning and servicing equipment in preparation for milling grain, a WFP spokesman told Reuters.
The Yemeni "legitimate" government, last month accused the Houthis group (Ansar Allah) of blocking access to the grain stores, which were under the control of "legitimate" government forces after fierce battles last year and one of the main fighting fronts is within walking distance of the grain stores in the eastern outskirts of the city of Hodeida.
International news reports have revealed that the group of Houthis (Ansar Allah) refused to allow a specialized technical team of the United Nations to access the Red Sea Mills in the province of Hodeida in western Yemen, to re-purge the grain enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month and those in a step that further complicates efforts to increase food aid for millions of people facing hunger in the impoverished country.
According to WFP spokesman Reuters reported that a WFP technical team arrived in the eastern outskirts of Hodeidah on Sunday to begin cleaning and servicing equipment in preparation for milling grain.
Sources familiar with the matter said the WFP-led team traveled from the government-held southern port city of Aden along the western coast, avoiding Houthi-controlled areas after the group denied them access from the north, which it controls.
At the end of February, the UN World Food Program's wheat stored in the Hodeida-based Red Sea Mills has weevil infection as expected, the Program said on Wednesday, stressing the need for purifying the wheat.
A team has reached the mills and the first assessment of the storage facility and wheat stored therein has been carried out, said WFP senior spokesman Hervé Verhoosel.
Mills' silos included 51,000 tons of wheat, 25 percent of the WFP's milling capacity in Yemen, said the Program, noting that stored wheat "is enough to feed 3.7 million people for a month."
Yemen has been racked by an armed conflict that broke out after the Iranian-backed Houthis had ousted the internationally recognized government late in 2014.
The conflict escalated after a Saudi-led coalition intervened militarily in the country in March 2015 to reinstate the government of President Hadi, triggering the world's worst humanitarian crisis, according to the UN, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection.
The port city of Hodeida and its ports have been under Houthi control since late 2014, while Yemeni joint forces loyal to legitimate government and Arab coalition have massed at the city's fringes seeking to retake the strategic port.