Saudi Coalition Agrees To Reopen Yemeni Ports To Humanitarian Aid

Saudi Coalition Agrees To Reopen Yemeni Ports To Humanitarian Aid

Saudi Arabia lifted its total blockade on Yemen's borders, ports and airports today but aid agencies said that it needed to do more to avert starvation in the war-torn country.

The statement said reopening the Hodeida Port and Sana'a Airport to enable the flow of commercial supplies is imperative to the survival of millions of Yemeni people, and called on Ansar Allah authorities in Yemen's north to facilitate unhindered access to people in need.

United Nations officials welcomed the move, albeit cautiously, as it was not clear whether humanitarian missions into Yemen would be allowed to return to pre-blockade levels.

The chief commander of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said here Thursday that the Islamic republic provides "advisory assistance" for Yemeni Shiite Houthi militants, Tasnim news agency reported.

Haq said the U.N.is "monitoring these developments and we're trying to see whether that actually takes place on the ground".

Shortly after the closure, United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock warned that the blockade could spark the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims. Some 7 million people are estimated to rely on food aid and 4 million on fuel needed for pumping clean water. The blockade was imposed earlier this month in response to a missile fired at Riyadh.

On Wednesday, two flights landed in Sanaa airport for the first time.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was vital to get commercial traffic resumed.


A second flight carried Russian diplomats, according to an airport official.

McGoldrick said that a flight carrying vaccines, sufficient to begin vaccinations of about 1 million children, is expected to land in Sanaa over the weekend.

The Saudi-led coalition imposed the blockade on Yemen in response to a missile assault targeting the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

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 two ports are under the control of the Houthis.

The International Rescue Committee on Wednesday said the closure of Yemeni ports by the Saudi-led coalition as part of its fight against Houthi rebels creates "humanitarian misery for millions of Yemenis".

For more than two years, airstrikes and ground fighting have left over 10,000 people dead, driven 3 million from their homes and destroyed the country's already fragile infrastructure.

Worldwide aid groups describe Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with millions at risk of starvation.

The coalition announced that it's lifting the blockade after initially tightening it following a Houthi missile attack.

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