Saudi Arabia to reopen Yemen's air and seaports within next 24 hours

UN says Saudi's closure of Yemen's seaports undoes progress in fight against famine and cholera

UN says Saudi's closure of Yemen's seaports undoes progress in fight against famine and cholera

Hedile noted the first flight carrying 218 passengers took off today.

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that the Coalition Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen would begin gradually reopening airports and seaports in Yemen, days after closing them over a Houthi ballistic attack on Riyadh.

The Yemen war has killed thousands and brought the impoverished country to the brink of starvation, as the coalition continues to fight alongside the government against the Huthis and their ally, strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh. "We have some 21 million people needing assistance and seven million of those are in famine-like conditions and rely completely on food aid", United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said. While the language of the resolution calls to "increase efforts to adopt all necessary and appropriate measures to prevent civilian casualties and increase humanitarian access", it does not call for an end to US support of the Saudi-led coaltion attacking Yemen.

The humanitarian situation in the war-ravaged Yemen is now one of the deadliest in the world as starvation and lack of medical supplies leave millions at risk - the Saudi blockade of Yemen has added to the country's woes.

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to push back the Houthi rebels who control the capital Sanaa, and restore the government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

"We have some 21 million people needing assistance and seven million of those are in famine-like conditions and rely completely on food aid", he said. REUTERS/Khaled AbdullahHumanitarian agencies had been successful in preventing starvation and tackling a cholera outbreak that has sickened more than 900,000 people in six months and killed over 2,200. "The humanitarians are just holding things together, waiting for a peace process which is very much in the distance", he said. The U.N. children's agency UNICEF had only three weeks of vaccine supplies left in Yemen, and both UNICEF and the World Health Organization had shipments of essential medicines and vaccines blocked in Djibouti, McGoldrick said. "The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable".

United Nations, however, dismissed Saudi demand.

The Houthis control most of the north, including Sana'a and its worldwide airport, while the Saudi-led coalition dominates the airspace.

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