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The Saudis’ Crime Against Humanity

The Saudi-led coalition claimed to be allowing humanitarian aid to be delivered to the port of Hodeidah and Sanaa airport, but aid agencies report that this isn’t true:

The Saudi-led coalition’s blockade of Yemen, which has cut off food imports to a population where 7 million people are on the brink of famine, is “illegal collective punishment” of civilians, a prominent aid official said on Thursday.

Major agencies said aid was still blocked a day after the Saudi-led military coalition said it would let humanitarian supplies in.

Preventing the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people enduring the world’s worst humanitarian crisis is a monstrous crime, but even if the coalition were to allow in some aid it would be woefully inadequate to meet the needs of the population by itself. Oxfam’s Scott Paul commented on this earlier in the week:

Yemen needs commercial imports of food and fuel in sufficient quantities to stave off famine and a crippling fuel shortage that is already affecting everything from pumping clean drinking water to powering medical facilities. Jan Egeland, the head of the Norwegian Refugee Council, explains:

“Even if both the flights and humanitarian shipments will go through now, it is not solving the underlying crisis that a country that needs 90 percent of its goods imported is not getting in commercial food or fuel.”

As long as the coalition blockade is in place, famine and disease will still claim countless lives. The coalition is still trying to starve Yemen into surrender with the blockade, and Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe won’t stop getting worse until the blockade is lifted entirely. The danger to Yemen’s civilian population has not passed, and it will continue to grow until the Saudi-led coalition’s crime against humanity is brought to an end.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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