Yemen port and airport 'opened for vital aid delivery'

Posted November 26, 2017

The coalition imposed a total blockade of Yemen's ports and airports two days after the Houthis fired a missile at Saudi Arabia on November 4. Around seven million people are at risk of starvation in Yemen, and at least one million children are exposed to a recent outbreak of both diphtheria and cholera.

On Wednesday, the coalition said it would allow humanitarian aid into Yemen through Sana'a airport and the western port of Hodeida.

The Saudi-led military coalition that has been blockading Yemen's ports of entry said that it will reopen the main airport and a important Red Sea port to humanitarian traffic on November 23.

The coalition has been facing escalating criticisms from senior United Nations officials and humanitarian agencies who expressed mounting concerns over already worsening humanitarian catastrophes in the war-torn Arab country which largely depends on humanitarian aid supplies and food imports.

"We stress the critical importance of resuming also commercial imports, in particular fuel supplies for our humanitarian response - transportation and so on - and for water pumping, Laerke said". "What really matters is (1) that the resumption of these flights becomes sustainable and, secondly, that we can get the ports in Hodeida and Saleef open both for humanitarian aid and for commercial imports".

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said that despite the approval, they weren't given the green light to enter Yemen until late Friday night, reports The Guardian.

Saudi Arabia eases blockade, reopens Yemen's Hudaydah port

The Yemen was has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 2 million, caused a cholera epidemic that had affected almost 1 million people, and drove Yemen to the verge of starvation.

The United States - which conducted its most recent airstrikes in Yemen on Sunday and Monday in support of the Saudi-led coalition, according to Pentagon spokesman Eric Pahon - welcomed news that the blockade had been lifted.

The missile was intercepted near Riyadh's King Khalid International Airport, sparking a war of words between Tehran and Riyadh, which accused Iran of "direct aggression" and supplying arms to the Houthis.

One flight evacuated five staffers of the International Committee of the Red Cross, according to Soumaya Beltifa of the ICRC in Yemen.

The Hudaydah region is controlled by the Houthi armed group, which the Saudi-led coalition was invited to neutralise by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in March 2015. More than 2,200 people have died.

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