A five-day 'humanitarian pause' in Yemen that ended on Sunday (17 May) was not long enough to reach all those in need of food and other relief supplies, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has warned.
The agency is calling for a series of breaks in the conflict to allow for the delivery of aid. Video footage released by the WFP showed a cargo plane carrying high-energy biscuits and fortified cereal arriving in Sana'a during a recent humanitarian pause.
During the 120-hour break, the UN agency said it dispatched food for more than 400,000 people and managed to reach some areas that were previously inaccessible.
But with transporters reluctant to send their trucks to areas where fighting and shelling continue, only half of those targeted were reached.
According to the WFP, almost half of the population in Yemen was food insecure even before the conflict, meaning that around 10 million people did not know where their next meal would come from. The United Nations estimates that the conflict has pushed many more Yemenis into hunger.
WFP Yemen director Purnima Kashyap said: "This conflict has displaced a lot of people. It has, with the commercial cargo embargo of both food and fuel, disrupted the local market and both food and fuel have become very scarce in the country.
"Before the conflict started, already we had over 10 million people who were food insecure, and with this embargo the numbers have definitely increased. We find that many markets are without food and where there is food the prices are very high."
UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday (20 May) announced talks between warring Yemeni parties in Geneva on 28 May to end over seven weeks of war.
The move is aimed at defusing the deepening crisis in the southern Arabian Peninsula, where Saudi-led forces killed at least 15 Houthis in the latest air strikes of a campaign to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.