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FRANCE 24 reports from Hodeida, Yemen's lifeline to the outside world

Most of the food and humanitarian aid destined for Yemen must pass through the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, which has been under siege for months. FRANCE 24 reports from the isolated city.

The conflict between the Saudi-backed government and Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen has created what the UN has said is now the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 14 million people now facing starvation. The conflict has so far led to the deaths of nearly 10,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. Some humanitarian groups believe the toll is much higher.

Much of the food and humanitarian aid destined for Yemen must pass through the isolated Red Sea port city of Hodeida, which has been under siege for months.

Yemen's government coalition and the Houthi rebels agreed to a ceasefire in Hodeida in mid-December after a breakthrough at peace talks in Sweden. The agreement calls for the withdrawal and redeployment of rival forces from the city, but the pull-out has yet to be realised.

“This port is the most vital location in Yemen,” Houthi official Omar al Jarbhouzi tells FRANCE 24. “It is also the most attacked, and the most destroyed... The coalition uses it as a weapon to push its strategy.”

The port is the gateway for 70 percent of Yemen’s food. “There are 20 million Yemenis depending on supplies that should be arriving on these docks but aren’t,” Jarbhouzi said.

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