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Jan 15, 1:38 PM EST

UN says 4 cranes arrive in Yemen to speed aid deliveries

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. says a ship has arrived in Yemen with four mobile cranes to speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid and commercial goods to the war-torn country, which is facing the world's worst hunger crisis.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Monday that the cranes, purchased by the U.N. World Food Program and funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, will be operational immediately at the port of Hodeida, which handles about 70 percent of Yemen's imports.

WFP Executive Director David Beasley said WFP also needs "better access and smooth, timely clearance of shipments."

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Hailey said the cranes can help "tens of millions of innocent people who wake up each day facing hunger and disease." She called on all sides to allow aid deliveries without interference.

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