Thousands could die in Yemen starvation due to Saudi blockade

Thousands could die in Yemen starvation due to Saudi blockade

The coalition allowed the resumption of worldwide commercial flights and opened Aden port last week, but it said the main aid route into the country (Hodeidah) would stay closed until it was "satisfied" its Houthi opponents could not use it to bring in weapons.

The Saudi-led military coalition that has been blockading Yemen's ports of entry said that it will reopen the main airport and a important Red Sea port to humanitarian traffic on November 23.

Ahmed Ben Lassoued, a Sanaa-based media official at The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told The Associated Press that a total of 32 flights have been canceled since November 6, when the coalition ordered a tightening of the Yemen blockade.

The warning comes two weeks after US -allied Saudi Arabia said it had shot down a ballistic missile fired by Iran-aligned Houthis from Yemen towards the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Haq said the monitoring developments and has "made clear the tremendous amount of needs on the ground".

"We're monitoring these developments", United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said in NY on news that Saudi will ease the blockade.

About 7 million people in Yemen — out of a population of 27 million — depend entirely on food aid, and 4 million rely on aid groups for clean water.

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Earlier Wednesday, two flights landed in Sanaa airport for the first time since the tightening of the blockade.

The U.S. State Department on Tuesday warned citizens to "consider the risks" when travelling to Saudi Arabia due to militant threats and the threat of ballistic missile attacks on civilians by rebels in Yemen.

Worldwide aid groups describe Yemen as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with millions at risk of starvation.

In response, the coalition ordered all ships to leave the ports at Hodeida and Salef.

The New-York based International Rescue Committee on Wednesday urged an end to the blockade, calling it a "collective punishment" of Yemenis that risks driving 500 children into malnutrition every week. "Sanctions and inspections should not be used as weapons of war", the group said in a statement.

The IRC condemned the global community, saying its silence "is a disgrace and is enabling what could be collective punishment".

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