23 November, 2018
Almost 85,000 children aged below five have starved to death over the last three years because of the civil war in Yemen, a report from Save the Children, an worldwide NGO, has said. "For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are dying from hunger and disease and it's entirely preventable", it said in a statement. The organization said the principal factor that lead to the starvation was the Saudi-led blockade of Yemen, a blockade which was strengthened a year ago after Iranian-backed forces inside Yemen fired a missile at Riyadh.
Years of United Nations-backed peace efforts have failed to end Yemen's fighting, which has killed almost 10,000 people - mostly civilians - since the Saudi-led coalition intervened.
Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow, reporting for neighbouring Djibouti, said residents in Hodeidah say there is no meaningful ceasefire in place as there are still sporadic clashes near the city's outskirts.
He is expected to meet with Huthi officials in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday.
Griffith's previous efforts to end Yemen's civil war fell through last September, when the Houthi rebels withdrew from talks claiming they were not guaranteed safe passage back to Yemen.
The report comes as fighting continues for control of Hodeidah between Houthi rebels and Saudi-Emirati backed forces loyal to Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
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United Nations special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is expected to meet on Wednesday with leaders of the Houthi movement, officially called Ansar Allah, in Sana'a.
UN food chief David Beasley visited Hodeidah last week and told reporters in NY on Friday the United Nations was "prepared, if necessary, if all parties desire" to take over the operational capacity of the port.
Save the Children says that an increase in fighting, blockades and bureaucracy in Hodeidah has forced it to bring supplies through the southern port of Aden, tripling the amount of time for that aid to reach the people who need it the most.
Multiple past attempts to hold negotiations between the government alliance and Huthis have failed. A few days later the Houthis announced a halt to missile and drone attacks on coalition leaders Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates along with their Yemeni allies.
Speaking to the Security Council on Friday, Mr Griffiths said that he received "firm assurances" that the warring parties would attend talks in Sweden. Aid workers in Yemen say many go unreported because only half of the country's health facilities are functioning and many people are too poor to access the ones that remain open.
In September, the Saudi-led coalition admitted that mistakes were made in an August airstrike that killed 40 children, an event considered an apparent war crime by the United Nations human rights body.