DUBAI/LONDON - Yemen is running critically short of imported food and fuel as war has cut internal supply lines and a near-blockade by Saudi-led naval forces has held up shipping to the country, the Arab world's poorest even before fighting erupted.
Ground combat between various Yemeni armed factions and Saudi-led air strikes have deepened the plight of civilians in Yemen, with the United Nations saying more than 80 percent of its 25 million people need some form of emergency aid.
Before Saudi Arabia intervened in March to try to restore Yemen's president to power and roll back the Iranian-allied Houthi militia now controlling large areas of the country, Yemen imported more than 90 percent of its food, mostly by sea.
Since then, many shipping companies have pulled out. Those still willing to bring cargoes face incalculable delays and mandatory searches by coalition warships hunting for arms bound for the Houthis, the dominant warring faction.
According to a humanitarian aid assessment compiled by the US Navy and obtained by Reuters, just 42 ships reached Yemen with goods in June compared with 100 in March.
Further data was not available. Before the crisis, the number of ships making calls to Yemen's major southern port of Aden alone averaged over 1,000 annually in recent years.