Dozens of Saudi-led Forces Killed in Yemen's Maarib, Taaz

Yemeni President Abedrabbu Mansour Hadi delivers a speech in his office at Presidential Palace in 2014. — AP

Yemeni President Abedrabbu Mansour Hadi delivers a speech in his office at Presidential Palace in 2014. — AP

Prior to the escalation of conflict in Yemen, an estimated 7,000 Yemenis were travelling overseas from Sana'a International Airport for medical treatment not available within the country, a number that grew exponentially following the escalation of violence in early 2015.

The Oslo, Norway-based NRC says some 10,000 Yemenis have died from failing to get medical treatment overseas.

He explained that the flight permits issued to every Yemeni airport ever since the beginning of operations have reached 5765 for commercial, cargo, and humanitarian relief flights, urging the United Nations to contribute in resuming flights from and to Sanaa airport through managing airport security and putting the Yemeni government fears to rest.

Still, Yemen's health ministry says that violence has exacted a smaller death toll than the closure of the airport in the capital, Sanaa, which has left thousands more people incapable of seeking medical treatment overseas.

Joel R. Charny, director of the Norwegian Refugee Council's Washington office, said he was skeptical of the Saudi proposal, asserting that similar arrangements had been made for aid shipments into the Houthi-controlled port of Al Hudaydah.

Over the past two years, the number of people in need of life-saving healthcare has increased to almost 20,000 due to the ongoing conflict, the group noted.

"Without access to safe, commercial travel, Yemenis are left with no way to access critical medical care". The NRC said close to half a million affected by cases of suspected cholera since April this year, as Yemen's already fragile health system struggles to meet basic health needs. "The result is devastating; thousands of women, men and children who could have been saved have now lost their lives", said Hamdan.

The Yemeni foreign ministry said the attack was clearly meant to damage relations between the Yemeni people and Sudan and called on the worldwide community to condemn "the criminal actions" of the Houthis who control most of northern Yemen.

The statement, signed by 15 aid groups and published on Wednesday, said: "The current cholera outbreak and near-famine conditions in many parts of Yemen make the situation far worse. The importance of unhampered delivery of humanitarian aid can not be overstated", the statement added.

"It is critical that all channels of domestic and global air movement are reopened so Yemenis can get help, and help can get to Yemenis", he said.

"This has become a tactic of the war in itself and I think [it] is really unfair".

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