Saudi Coalition Agrees To Reopen Yemeni Ports To Humanitarian Aid

Saudi Coalition Agrees To Reopen Yemeni Ports To Humanitarian Aid

The statement described the decision to open the port of Hodeidah and Sanaa airport as a first step in addressing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, expressing Washington's aspiration to take additional steps.

The United Nations Security Council on November 9 called for the blockade to be lifted, warning that otherwise Yemen would face "the largest starvation the world has seen for decades".

Three planes carrying humanitarian aid and aid workers landed in Yemen's capital on Saturday, the first delivery to the war-torn nation in almost three weeks due to a blockade imposed by the Saudi-led coalition that controls the entry points.

Unicef, the UN's children's fund, said its flight was carrying 15 tonnes, or 1.9 million doses, of vaccines for diphtheria, tetanus and other diseases.

"The needs are huge and there is much more to do for #YemenChildren", the world body said on its Twitter account.

The airport in the capital of Sanaa will reopen to United Nations aircraft, and the seaport of Hodeida will be able to receive urgent humanitarian aid, the coalition statement said.

The UN humanitarian agency OCHA also said on Friday saying that supplies of petrol and diesel are expected to run out in the coming week and the largest fuel importing companies will no longer be able to supply the consumer market.

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"This will further increase the vulnerability of millions of Yemenis with limited access to clean water and threatens to reverse gains made in combating cholera", the United Nations aid agency OCHA added.

Officials at the port said on Saturday that no ships have arrived yet and they were not expecting any to dock soon.

The Sunni alliance said the closure was aimed at stopping the flow of Iranian arms to the Shiite Houthis. Iran has denied supplying weapons.

On Thursday, Qatar's foreign minister attacked Saudi Arabia over what he called a "humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen".

The US today welcomed a move by Saudi Arabia to allow humanitarian aid to reach Yemen.

Airstrikes and ground fighting have left more than 10,000 people dead and driven 3 million from their homes since the coalition intervened in the war between forces loyal to President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels.

The UN says a continuation of the two-week blockade would make Yemen's war-battered population more vulnerable to cholera and starvation.

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