SANA’A, YEMEN — Mortar fire has damaged two grain silos at the Red Sea Mills on the eastern outskirts of Hodeidah City in Yemen, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNCHA).

Stephen Anderson, country director for the World Food Program, said the agency is “very concerned” that some of the wheat stocks it stores at the Red Sea Mills have been damaged.

The UNCHA said the WFP has about 51,000 tonnes of wheat stored at the Red Sea Mills, which accounts for about one-fourth of Yemen’s incountry wheat stock supplies. The WFP has been unable to access Red Sea Mills since September 2018 because of fighting.

“WFP urgently needs to get access to the Red Sea Mills so we can assess the level of damage and begin transporting the unaffected wheat stocks to areas of Yemen where it is desperately needed,” Anderson said.

Lise Grande, humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said the loss of wheat comes at a terrible time for the country.

“More than 20 million Yemenis, nearly 70% of the entire population, are hungry,” Grande said. “The situation in Yemen is heart-breaking. A quarter of a million people are in a catastrophic condition, facing near starvation if assistance doesn’t get to them. This is the first time we are seeing conditions like this. We need this wheat.”