Published: Fri, November 24, 2017
Health Care | By Alberto Manning

Saudi-led Coalition to Reopen Yemen's Hodeidah Port, Sana'a Airport

Saudi-led Coalition to Reopen Yemen's Hodeidah Port, Sana'a Airport

The coalition imposed a total blockade of Yemen's ports and airports two days after the Huthis fired a missile at Saudi Arabia on November 4.

The reopening of Yemen's main port by Saudi Arabia will not be enough to avert starvation in the country unless all restrictions are lifted and commercial goods allowed in, aid agencies say.

The Saudi authorities announced that the blockades on rebel-held Hodeida port and Sana'a airport were being lifted for urgent humanitarian supplies from noon local time.

"We are monitoring these developments and we are trying to see whether that actually takes place on the ground", United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in NY.

Save the Children said that... "Of course, if that were to happen that would be a very welcome and critically important development".

"Reopening the ports to aid but not to commercial imports is pitiful bartering with people's lives", Shane Stevenson, Oxfam's director in Yemen, said.

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY that senior United Nations humanitarian and political officials received information from their Saudi counterparts on Wednesday, indicating a willingness to open the airport and ports "over the next day".

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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 two ports are under the control of the Houthis.

Tehran has so far denied arming Iranian-allied Shiite Houthis against the Saudi-led coalition which seeks to restore President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by Houthis in September 2014.

The UN warned that millions of people in Yemen were at immediate risk by the blockade on food aid and fuel.

Wednesday's announcement says the Sanaa airport and the port of Hodeida will reopen, starting from Thursday.

The coalition sys the United Nations and global relief groups have demanded the coalition allow full access to hubs in Yemen so that humanitarian aid can reach those that desperately need it. "All sea and air ports must be fully reopened immediately to both humanitarian and commercial access to save millions of innocent Yemeni people".

"Sanctions and inspections should not be used as weapons of war", the group said in a statement.

Each week, the group said, 500 children join hundreds of thousands suffering from malnutrition.

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