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:
— Scott Paul (@ScottTPaul) November 22, 2017
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.