U.N. Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Monday that the Saudi-led Coalition had eased the Yemen blockade allowing deliveries of humanitarian aid to the country.
Mr. Dujarric said a U.N.-chartered vessel docked at the port in Salif, a coastal village in western Yemen, on Monday, delivering 25,000 metric tons of bulk wheat.
Three weeks after a blockade of Yemen’s airports and seaports, the first shipments are arriving with desperately needed food & medical supplies. This is only the start. To save more lives, more access is needed. https://t.co/ESIVslAgqM
— World Food Programme (@WFP) November 27, 2017
The U.N. delivery arrived in the war-torn country after three humanitarian flights landed in the capital city of Sanaa on Saturday and another commercial cargo vessel completed the delivery to Hodeida on Sunday.
The U.N. spokesperson added that some 21 million Yemenis require assistance that should include fuel and vaccines to contain the current outbreak of diphtheria.
“Fuel is urgently required to operate generators for hospitals, water well pumps and sanitation units and to facilitate the trucking of drinking water and staple food,” Mr. Dujarric said. “Vaccines will help to contain the current outbreak of diphtheria, which since August has seen more than 170 suspected cases and at least 14 deaths recorded in Ibb governorate.”
Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in the Yemeni civil war in 2015 on behalf of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Some 13,000 civilians have been killed since the beginning of the Coalition air campaign, according to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.