The Saudi-led coalition closed all points of access into Yemen on November 6th following a Houthi missile launched at Riyadh Airport. They say it is to prevent weapons smuggling from Iran and they are slowly opening ports and airports under the coalition’s control.
Multiple agencies with the UN have pleaded to open all of Yemen’s ports, not just the ones controlled by the coalition. A majority of Yemen’s humanitarian aid goes through the port of Hodeidah, which is controlled by the Houthi rebels.
“The cost of this blockade is being measured in the number of lives that are lost,” the statement from David Beasley, Anthony Lake and Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
“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.”
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote to Saudi U.N. Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi to warn him that the blockade was “already reversing the impact of humanitarian efforts,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Thursday.
As of Wednesday, 29 vessels, with 300,000 tonnes of food and 192,000 tonnes of fuel, had been blocked, while U.N. ships carrying $10 million of health and nutrition supplies and 25,000 tonnes of wheat were waiting to berth at Hodeidah, according to another U.N. statement.
“Without fuel, the vaccine cold chain, water supply systems and waste water treatment plants will stop functioning. And without food and safe water, the threat of famine grows by the day,” the U.N. agency heads said.