First aid plane in three weeks reaches Yemen

Lucy Bush
November 26, 2017

The United States, she said, looks forward to additional steps that will facilitate the unfettered flow of humanitarian and commercial goods from all ports of entry to the points of need. "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 says a continuation of the two-week blockade would make Yemen's war-battered population more vulnerable to cholera and starvation.

About 7 million people face starvation in Yemen and their survival is dependent on worldwide assistance.

It was not clear if fuel imports, crucial for supplying clean water, would resume as part of the easing of the blockade, he said.

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The International Committee of the Red Cross landed a passenger flight at Sanaa on Wednesday, spokesman Ewan Watson told AFP.

Seven million Yemenis are completely dependent on relief supplies for their survival, according to the UN.

Girls react as they stand near their damaged house at the site of a Saudi-led airstrike near in Sanaa on November 11.

The coalition announced the closure of Yemen's air, land and sea borders on November 6, two days after a ballistic missile fired from the rebel-held territory in Yemen was intercepted over the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

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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.

In response, ships were ordered to leave the Red Sea ports of Hodeida and Salef, the only lifeline to northern Yemen where most of the population lives.

The Saudi-led coalition is fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who seized control of Sana'a in late 2014 and have since taken over other parts of the impoverished country. The UN said in August that more than 20 million people are at risk from starvation in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and the northeast of Nigeria.

The coalition has given clearance for U.N. flights in and out of Sanaa from Amman on Saturday, involving the regular rotation of aid workers, said Jens Laerke, spokesman of the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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Since Nov. 6, the United Nations and global aid agencies have repeatedly urged the coalition to lift the Yemen blockade.

Other reports by Info About Network

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