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  1. ITV Report

Yemen: Millions at risk if aid agencies not given better access

Millions of people could die in Yemen if aid agencies are not given better access to the war-torn country, a senior World Food Programme official has told ITV News.

Executive Director David Beasley said cholera and other diseases would continue to spread if they could not get food and other help to more people.

The western Asian nation has been crippled by a civil war now in its third year and is staving off looming famine.

It is now gripped by the worst recorded cholera outbreak in history which more than 400,000 people are suspected of contracting.

Today, the heads of Unicef, the World Food Programme and the World Health Organisation came face to face with the problems in Yemen.

Speaking from Sana'a, Yemen's largest city, Mr Beasley said it was crucial that ports were operational to get more aid in.

He said that cranes had been paid for but they were not being allowed in the operate at the port.

"We are feeding now over five million people on an average daily basis," he said. "If we can't scale up to over nine million people that means they do not get the food they need, the nutrition they need, which means their immunisation system goes down, which means cholera and other diseases become rampant and that's what we have right here in Yemen today."

Mr Beasley said that there is a "very, very desperate situation" and asked the "powers that be" to put pressure on those involved in the conflict to bring about a peace deal.

World Food Programme Executive Director David Beasley. Credit: ITV News