Saudis Tighten Blockade on Yemen
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
The Saudis halted all humanitarian supplies to Yemen, including three UN aircraft set to deliver essentials to life.
Millions in the country are suffering under dire conditions, including severe malnutrition and starvation.
According UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Mark Lowcock, Yemenis will suffer “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims” if total blockade conditions remain enforced.
“I have told the (Security) Council that unless those measures are lifted,” millions could perish.
“It will not be like the famine that we saw in South Sudan earlier in the year, where tens of thousands of people were affected.”
“It will not be like the famine which cost 250,000 people their lives in Somalia in 2011,” he added.
The situation is far graver, the Security Council largely ignoring it because US-led Western countries block action, complicit with Saudi aggression.
According to Yemen researcher Kristine Beckerle, the US, Britain and France “issu(ed) broad recitations of concern,” but no support for action.
Along with millions of Yemenis facing famine, cholera is ravaging the country, over 900,000 cases since April, numbers rising exponentially, millions more at risk. Over 2,000 died from lack of available treatment.
On Wednesday, 17 humanitarian organizations expressed deep concern about Saudi-blocked aid from getting in.
Oxfam said around “21 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, a shocking 82% of the population, and 14.1 million people cannot afford enough food for their families.”
CARE director Johan Mooij said “(a)id ships in Hudaydah haven’t been allowed to off-load, and at least three United Nations humanitarian air assistance flights have been denied approval since November 6.”
“We are deeply concerned as this has a direct impact on our ability to maintain life-saving assistance. Yemen is one step away from famine, cholera is rife and provision of public services continues to deteriorate.”
Save the Children’s Tamer Kirolos explained “(i)t’s already been tough enough to get help in. We’ve been forced to rely on routes that are long and slow for years.”
“But if access shuts off entirely, even for a single week, then disaster will be the result. This is the nightmare scenario, and children will likely die as a result.”
“It is crucial that aid workers and vital supplies like food, medicine and fuel are permitted to enter Yemen freely and without delay, and all blocks are removed.”
Millions of children are malnourished. Millions more Yemenis face starvation. Millions are displaced by over two-and-a-half years of US-orchestrated, Saudi-waged naked aggression on the country, civilians struggling to survive under deplorable conditions.
They’re catastrophic, the world’s worst, compounded by daily Saudi terror-bombing, the world community failing to responsibly address the plight of the Yemeni people.
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