Published: Fri, November 17, 2017
Global Media | By Garry Long

Aden airport receives first commercial flight after Yemen blockade

Aden airport receives first commercial flight after Yemen blockade

Yemenia Airlines Chief Saleh Ba Hedile said in a statement at Cairo Airport that the flights resumed following the Saudi-led coalition lifted restriction on air travel to Yemen.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen announced a suspension of border crossing via air, marine and land routes following a ballistic missile fired from Yemen targeting Saudi capital Riyadh on November 6.

United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock warned last week that unless the blockade was lifted, Yemen will face "the largest starvation the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims".

The reported airstrike on Sanaa airport came as flights resumed to the airport in the government-held southern city of Aden, after the coalition granted permission for them to resume.

Sweden, a non-permanent council member, called for a council meeting last week on the crisis, but Skoog did not indicate whether he will seek another meeting on the aid blockade.

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"We are concerned that not enough has happened", he said.

On Thursday, the heads of the World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, urgently called for the immediate lifting of the blockade in Yemen to respond to what is now the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

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 people closer to "starvation and death".

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", said the UN's aid coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, this week. Saudi officials have previously suggested the Shi'ites surrender the port to them, though since aid shipped to other pro-Saudi ports never reaches the nation's Shi'ite population, that appears to be no solution at all.

The UN's World Food Programme warned that current stocks of rice will run out in 111 days and wheat in 97.

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