Saudi Arabia’s blockade hindering aid delivery to starving Yemenis: UN


UNITED NATIONS, Nov 7 (APP):Saudi Arabia’s decision to shutdown Yemen’s air, sea and land borders has prevented the United Nations from sending two humanitarian aid flights to the war-torn country, a UN spokesman said.
“There were no flight clearances granted to our flights today”. “We expected to have two flights going and those are on hold for now,” UN Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at the regular noon briefing at UN Headquarters in New York on Monday.
He said that UN officials are currently trying to persuade the Saudi authorities to permit aid delivery to Yemen, where some seven million people are suffering from severe malnutrition.
On Sunday, the kingdom announced that it is shutting down all Yemen’s air, sea, and land border, after Yemen targeted an international airport near Riyadh, the Saudi capital.
Yemen has been torn apart by conflict since 2014, when Houthi rebels, allied with troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, captured much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.
A coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia launched an air campaign against the rebels in March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognised government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.
Since then, the conflict has killed more than 10,000 people, forced millions from their homes and pushed the impoverished country to the brink of famine, according to the United Nations.