As Yemen’s people struggle to survive amid what has been described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the stranglehold by both government coalition forces and rebels over the country’s main ports of entry and distribution is cutting off a lifeline of support to 22 million people.
Amnesty International, in a report published on June 22 after seven months of extensive research, said that the Saudi-led government coalition are blocking the entrance of essential humanitarian aid, including food, fuel and medicines. And any distribution of this aid is slowed by Houthi rebels within the country.
“The core aspect highlighted by the report is that humanitarian aid finds it extremely difficult to reach destinations inside the country,” Riccardo Noury, communications director and spokesperson for Amnesty International in Italy, told IPS.
Aid workers described to Amnesty International the extent of delays, with one saying that it took up to two months to move supplies out of Sana’a, the country’s capital.
“The most difficult part was getting the aid out of the warehouse once it is in Yemen,” the aid worker was quoted as saying.
World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis
Yemen’s war began after Houthi rebels took control of the country’s capital at the end of 2014, forcing the government to flee. In support of the government a coalition of states, led by Saudi Arabia, launched an offensive against the rebels. At least 10,000 Yemenis have been killed in almost three years of fighting, with the overall injured numbering 40,000.
The conflict has pushed Yemen, which was already known as the Middle East’s poorest country before 2014, to the verge of a total human, economic and social collapse.
Save the Children, an international non-governmental organisation that promotes human rights, estimates that 130 children in Yemen die every day from extreme hunger and disease.
It is estimated that three quarters of Yemen’s 27 million people are in need of assistance. A…