May 25, 2018 / 10:04 AM / a year ago

U.N. urges Saudi-led coalition to speed Yemen imports, avoid starvation

GENEVA, May 25 (Reuters) - The United Nations aid chief has called on the Yemen government and Saudi-led coalition to loosen restrictions on imports of food and fuel through commercial ports into the war-wracked country, warning that millions more could face starvation. “I am particularly concerned about the recent decline of commercial food imports through the Red Sea ports. Pressure on the currency and a liquidity crisis in the Yemeni banking system make imports less viable for traders,” Mark Lowcock, U.N. emergency relief coordinator, said in a statement.

Confidence among commercial shippers has eroded due to delays, “including as a result of inspections undertaken by the Saudi-led coalition after these vessels have been cleared by UNVIM,” he said, referring to the U.N. verification mechanism. (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, editing by Tom Miles)

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