Aid Agencies May Stop Yemen Work

Aid Agencies May Stop Yemen WorkAid Agencies May Stop Yemen Work

Twenty-two aid agencies working in Yemen warned that their help could end unless land, sea and air routes are opened to allow for the import of fuel into the country, where an Arab coalition has been attacking Houthi forces since March 26.

The conflict has disrupted imports in the impoverished country where around 20 million people, or 80 percent of the population, are now estimated to be going hungry, or “food insecure” in aid parlance, according to a statement by the United Nations and the Yemen International NGO Forum.

A shortage of fuel has crippled hospitals and food supplies in the past few weeks, and the UN World Food Program has said its monthly fuel needs have leapt from 40,000 liters a month to one million liters, Reuters reported..

“Millions of lives are at risk, in particular children, and soon we will not be able to respond,” Edward Santiago, country director for Save the Children, said in the statement.

The statement also dismissed an announcement by the Saudi-led Arab alliance about a possible truce in some areas to allow for humanitarian supplies, saying it was not enough and that a permanent end to hostilities was needed.

 Deadly Clashes

Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition struck Yemeni provinces near the Saudi border overnight, killing at least 43 civilians, Houthi sources said.

Houthis fired mortar bombs and Katyusha rockets at the Saudi border town of Najran on Tuesday, their first cross-border attack on Saudi Arabia since the coalition’s military campaign against them began on March 26.

In Yemen, another nine people were killed and 18 were wounded in Saudi-led airstrikes on a police academy in Dhamar Province, some 100km south of the capital Sanaa, the Houthi-run Saba news agency said on Wednesday.

The United Nations said on Tuesday at least 646 civilians had been killed since coalition air strikes began, including 131 children, with over 1,364 civilians wounded.

The Saudi-led coalition, which includes nine Arab states and has logistical support from the US, France and Britain, seeks to restore the government of Yemen’s fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.