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Members of Yemeni pro-government forces walk through a destroyed industrial distric, Hodeida Members of Yemeni pro-government forces walk through a destroyed industrial distric, Hodeida  (AFP or licensors)

Yemen teeters towards famine

Fighting breaks out in the Yemeni port-city of Hodeida as efforts towards a cease-fire accelerate.

By Nathan Morley

Yemeni army officials have accused the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels of firing in the eastern part of the city on Monday afternoon, with reports claiming pro-government forces responded, and then, Saudi-led coalition jets launched air-strikes.

The Saudis have accused Tehran of shipping arms to the rebels through the port — a charge Iran denies. Separately, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have said they would spend $500 million to tackle food shortages in Yemen, as the country heads towards the worst famine anywhere in the world in a century.

Listen to Nathan Morley's report

Meanwhile, a proposed UN resolution urges Yemen's warring parties to re-launch negotiations to end the three-year conflict and take urgent steps to tackle the dire humanitarian crisis. It also calls for a halt to missile and drone attacks and for all roadblocks preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid to be removed.

UN humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock says Yemen's economic crisis and escalating conflict had pushed the nation closer to famine. Another UN official said 12 million of the 28 million Yemenis ‘are just one step away from famine’.

20 November 2018, 15:08