SANA’A – Yemen asked the international community to try and pressure the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which has been attacking the impoverished country since 2015, into letting in medical supplies that are urgently required for the most basic healthcare to work in the country.
“We ask this of nations to pressure the Saudi coalition into relieving Yemen’s siege and allowing in medical equipment,” Mohammad Ali al-Houthi, chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, tweeted on Sunday, PressTV reported.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its allies invaded the Arab world’s already most impoverished nation in March 2015 to try and restore power to its former Riyadh-backed officials.
The invaders have, throughout the course of the war, been enforcing an all-out aerial, naval, and land blockade on the country under the pretext of preventing the transfer of arms to Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement that has been defending the nation against the military campaign.
The war has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis and turned the country into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The coalition has kept up its aggression despite the viral outbreak that has infected 128 people and claimed 20 lives across Yemen. The invading forces have also violated a ceasefire that they themselves had announced on the occasion of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
Yemen is already on the brink of famine by the five-year Saudi war. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said on Monday Yemen could see a catastrophic food security situation due to the coronavirus lockdown. The Saudi war has caused what the United Nations describes as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Some 80% of Yemen’s population is reliant on aid and millions face hunger.
“The health system was already under heavy stress and will now be overwhelmed if COVID-19 continues to spread and in addition, it will affect the movement of people and the movement of goods,” Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, the FAO’s assistant director-general and regional representative for the Near East and North Africa, told Reuters.
“That situation could be really catastrophic if all the elements of worst-case scenarios come to be but let’s hope not and the UN are working on avoiding that,” he added.
According to the UN agency, the lockdown will most likely impact humanitarian supply chains.
There are currently 15.9 million Yemenis classified as food insecure out of a population of some 28 million. On Sunday, an NGO and medics said deaths in Aden, which is controlled by Saudi-backed mercenaries, have surged to at least five times higher than normal.
Yemen’s health system has all but collapsed since the conflict broke out in 2014. Making the situation worse is intermittent infighting between mercenaries supported by the UAE and Saudi Arabia. On Saturday, at least 14 UAE-backed southern separatists and Saudi-led terrorists were killed as clashes between the two sides entered the sixth day in the southern Yemeni province of Abyan.
UAE-backed separatist forces of the so-called Southern Transitional Council (STC) are resisting an offensive by Saudi-sponsored terrorists loyal to Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, launched on the outskirts of Zinjibar, some 60 km from Aden.