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Congress Declares US Military Support of Saudi Arabia in Yemen War Unauthorized
14 November 2017, 07:05 | Lena Norman
Khaled Abdullah Reuters
Malnutrition is increasingly common in Yemen particularly among children
Saudi Arabia announced Monday that the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen will begin reopening airports and seaports in the Arab world's poorest country, days after closing them over a rebel ballistic missile attack on Riyadh.
The missile was intercepted but Saudi Arabia and the United States both accused Iran of supplying the missile, saying it bore "Iranian markings".
Aden port, which is controlled by allies of Saudi Arabia, does not have the capacity, according to the United Nations, to handle the necessary volume of humanitarian cargo and would mean hazardous cross-line deliveries. Any reopening would need an agreement between the two sides, which blame each other for Yemen's humanitarian disaster.
"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", Mr. McGoldrick told reporters.
The announcement from the Saudi mission at the United Nations came after the coalition fighting Yemen's rebels, known as Houthis, faced widespread global criticism over the closure, with the U.N. and over 20 aid groups saying it could bring millions of already suffering people closer to "starvation and death".
After a November 4 ballistic missile attack near the Riyadh global airport by Houthi rebels, Saudi Arabia had announced it shut down all ports in Yemen.
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The UN has warned that an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis in Yemen was worsening each day that aid shipments remained blocked.
The U.N. aid coordinator called on the Saudi-led coalition to open all Yemen's seaports urgently on Tuesday, saying millions of lives were at risk.
Earlier this month, the Saudi-led coalition closed access to Yemeni ports following a ballistic missile attack toward Riyadh by Houthi rebels. REUTERS/Khaled AbdullahHumanitarian agencies had been successful in preventing starvation and tackling a cholera outbreak that has sickened more than 900,000 people in six months and killed over 2,200.
Noting that there were three weeks of vaccines left in the country, McGoldrick said "humanitarian supplies are dangerously low". "This import blockage will reverse those gains and leave millions of people in a very precarious situation as we move ahead".
Jamie McGoldrick said the north of the country had 20 days' stocks of diesel, which were crucial for pumping water and fighting a huge cholera outbreak, and 10 days' stocks of gasoline, with no prospect of resupply soon. There's enough wheat and rice to feed the population of 28 million for four months.
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