Yemen is suffering over failure to open ports, airports

Yemen is suffering over failure to open ports, airports

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting Yemen's Houthi rebels bombed the airport in the rebel-held capital, Sanaa, Tuesday, Yemeni officials said, although there were conflicting reports as to the extension of damage caused in the strike.

In a letter to the Saudi ambassador to the United Nations, Guterres said the blockade imposed by the Saudi-led military coalition since November 6 was already reversing the impact of humanitarian efforts, according to Guterres' spokesman, Stephane Dujarric.

United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock warned last week that unless the blockade was lifted, Yemen will face "the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims".

Guterres called on the coalition to enable the resumption of United Nations humanitarian flights to Sanaa and Aden airports, and the re-opening of Hodaydah and Saleef seaports so that fuel, food and medical supplies can enter Yemen, said the spokesman.

"We would ask that the coalition opens all the seaports as a matter of urgency and allows humanitarian and other supplies to move, as well as the movement of aid workers", he said. "We'll see what the next step will be on that".

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation.

The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread worldwide criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of people closer to "starvation and death".

Diplomats criticised the proposed statement as lacking balance and said they did not expect it to be endorsed by the council.

Stocks of diesel and petrol are running out in parts of Yemen because of the blockade, while the prices of basic goods have skyrocketed.

Yemen had commercial wheat stocks for three months for the entire population of 28 million and about 120 days of rice.