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25 November 2017, 01:35 | Rodolfo Quinn
Yemen and US Policy: Serious Rethinking Is Imperative
The Saudi-led coalition closed air, land and sea access to the Arabian Peninsula country for all humanitarian workers and organisations on November 6, saying the blockade would halt arms from reaching Houthi rebels.
The airport in the capital of Sanaa will reopen to United Nations aircraft and the sea port of Hodeida will be able to receive urgent humanitarian aid, the coalition said in a statement.
The International Rescue Committee says a partial reopening of ports will ease the flow of humanitarian aid, but "will still leave the population of Yemen in a worse situation than they were two weeks ago before the blockade started".
He says that "at a time of starvation and a time of cholera, it's very important" to keep all aid channels open.
The Arab Coalition in Yemen announced on Friday that 42 permits were issued for ships and relief aircrafts.
"Even if both the flights and humanitarian shipments will go through now, it is not solving the underlying crisis that a country that needs 90 percent of its goods imported is not getting in commercial food or fuel".
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The U.N. humanitarian chief in Yemen says the closure of the country's main airport and two seaports by a Saudi-led coalition has threatened gains made in containing cholera and the risk of starvation in the war-torn country.
United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock called on November 8 for the blockade to be lifted, warning that Yemen would otherwise face "the largest starvation the world has seen for decades".
Houthis have been controlling much of Yemen's north by force, including the capital Sanaa since 2014.
Saudi Arabia said the move was meant to stop the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran, although Iran has denied supplying weapons to the rebel forces.
The country also faces a deadly cholera epidemic and millions stand at the brink of official starvation.
Nearly 9,000 people have since been killed, but millions face the risk of a deadly cholera epidemic and stand on the brink of starvation.
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