Published: Tue, November 14, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

United Nations dismisses the Saudi demand to re-open the Yemen Port

United Nations dismisses the Saudi demand to re-open the Yemen Port

However, the port of Hodeidah on the western coast, where almost 80 percent of Yemen's food imports have gone through, is still closed.

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday that the Coalition Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen would begin gradually reopening airports and seaports in Yemen, days after closing them over a Houthi ballistic attack on Riyadh.

The UN on Tuesday called on the Saudi-led coalition to open all of Yemen's seaports in order to let humanitarian aid through.

Al Jazeera's Mohammed Adow reports from Djibouti.

The conflict escalated when Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in 2015 aimed at reversing Houthi military gains and strengthening Yemen's embattled government.

He said that a United Nations verification and inspection mechanism already in place could work with the Saudi-led coalition on implementing new procedures but that keeping ports closed in the interim was not viable.

Al-Mouallimi told reports from NY that the Coalition would conduct this process in complete agreement with Yemen's internationally recognized government, to allow the safe delivery of humanitarian aid.

So far, Saudi wants to bring supplies into Yemen via the ports of Jizan and Aden, a plan McGoldrick said was risky and slow. Humanitarian 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. McGoldrick was speaking to reporters in Geneva by phone from Amman, because he said flights into Sanaa were blocked. "The humanitarian impact of what is happening right now is unimaginable". "The humanitarians are just holding things together, waiting for a peace process which is very much in the distance".

Supplies in the country are running a critical low, according to the United Nations: There's only 20 days worth of diesel (needed for pumping water - vital for sanitation and fighting cholera) and three weeks supply of vaccines for children.

Earlier this month, the Saudi-led coalition closed access to Yemeni ports following a ballistic missile attack toward Riyadh by Houthi rebels.

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