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Food aid agency says conflict has pushed Yemen to the brink of famine, food deliveries blocked

  • Yemeni people stand in a line to buy canisters of gas, after waiting for hours at a street in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Yemeni people stand in a line to buy canisters of gas, after waiting for hours at a street in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Yemeni people stand in a line to buy a canister of gas at a street in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Yemeni people stand in a line to buy a canister of gas at a street in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • A Yemeni man carries a canister of gas he bought it after waiting for hours in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    A Yemeni man carries a canister of gas he bought it after waiting for hours in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015. The Saudi-imposed blockade has created severe shortages of gas, petrol, and other goods, causing prices to skyrocket. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The United Nations says the war in Yemen has pushed the country to the brink of famine, with both commercial food imports and aid deliveries held up by the fighting and millions of hungry women and children facing possible starvation.

Ertharin Cousin, head of the U.N.'s World Food Programme, says that while some deliveries are being made, fighting around the major ports is stalling distribution, and reaching the country's interior is proving difficult.

Yemen's conflict pits Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh against southern separatists, local and tribal militias, Sunni Islamic militants and troops loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis are leading a U.S.-backed Arab coalition carrying out airstrikes against Houthi forces.