UN Aid Official in Yemen Urges Lifting of Blockade
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - The continuing blockade of ports in Yemen must be lifted, a senior United Nations humanitarian official urged, calling for greater access to more than eight million people on the verge of famine.
Speaking from Sana’a, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Jamie McGoldrick said that “the lives of millions of people, including 8.4 million Yemenis who are a step away from famine, hinge on our ability to continue our operations and to provide health, safe water, food, shelter and nutrition support.”
He called on all groups involved in the conflict to “fully facilitate sustained and unimpeded humanitarian access, as required by international humanitarian law.”
McGoldrick said this means lifting of restrictions on Yemen’s Red Sea ports and Sana’a airport, which continue to delay aid from entering the country and hindering the availability of food and fuel.
He also urged parties to the conflict to ensure protection for aid workers and facilities, process visas and not interfere unnecessarily in the work of aid organizations.
The UN aid official also warned about renewed violence along the western coast of the country and other parts of Yemen.
In the statement, the official warned that fresh violence would “only lead to further devastation” for the 22 million people in need.
He said that a political solution is the only means to put an end to the suffering, and reiterated his call on any countries with influence to step up their engagement to protect civilians and put an end to this conflict.
“As stated by the UN Secretary General, it is in the interest of everybody to stop this war,” he said echoing António Guterres’s comments in recent weeks.
Saudis have stepped up attacks on Yemen, in particular Sana’a, following the death of their ally, Saleh.
Saleh was killed after betraying the Yemeni revolution and allying with the Saudi-led coalition, which has been pounding the country for months.
Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by the Saudi-led coalition for the past three years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.
Over 14,000 Yemenis, including thousands of women and children, have lost their lives in the deadly military campaign.