Yemen is suffering over failure to open ports, airports

Saudi-led military coalition carried out two air strikes on the defence ministry in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa late

Last week, the Saudi-led coalition said it was closing Yemen's ground, air and sea ports after a ballistic missile was sacked over the Saudi capital from Yemen.

The heads of three United Nations agencies urged the Saudi-led military coalition on Thursday to lift its blockade of Yemen, warning that "untold thousands" would die if it stayed in place.

Saudi Arabia announced it shut down all ports after a Houthi ballistic missile attack near Riyadh's worldwide airport.

The Saudi-led coalition went to war against the rebels, known as Houthis, in March 2015 on behalf of Yemen's internationally recognized government.

"Together, we issue another urgent appeal for the coalition to permit entry of lifesaving supplies to Yemen in response to what is now the worst humanitarian crisis in the world", reads a joint statement Thursday from World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.

The coalition intervened in Yemen two and a half years ago to try to oust the Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa, and restore President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi's government to power. The war has killed over 10,000 civilians, displaced 3 million people and left much of the infrastructure in ruins. "There are many sources of supply to Yemen, even during the past week or so".

Cholera, hunger and war are ravaging Yemen. What role does the US play?

A malnourished Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital in the port city of Hodeida on November 05, 2017.

However, McGoldrick said earlier in the day that there was "no indication" the coalition was actually lifting the blockade in line with its announcement.

Later Thursday, the United Nations spokesman said Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has written to Saudi Arabia's United Nations ambassador, saying the kingdom's failure to reopen key airports and sea ports in Yemen is already reversing humanitarian efforts to tackle the crisis in the impoverished country.

"There are still huge problems and there has not been any progress on the. open humanitarian access through the ports of Hodeida and airport of Sanaa", both held by the rebels.

Stephane Dujarric said Guterres welcomes the reopening of the port in the city of Aden but that this "will not meet the needs of 28 million Yemenis".

The fiery comments by Saleh al-Sammad, the head of the Presidency Council of the Houthis, came during a rally of thousands of rebel supporters marching down a main boulevard in the capital, Sanaa.


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