Humanitarian groups and the UN have urged the Saudi-led coalition to reopen aid channels into Yemen, after a decision to seal the stricken country’s air, sea and land borders.
The UN described the closure of aid channels as “catastrophic”. Food, medicine and other essential supplies are “critical for the survival” of the country’s 27 million population, weakened by war, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) added. Yemen is in the grip of the world’s worst cholera outbreak and 7 million people are already on the brink of famine.
The coalition said on Monday it would close the borders to stem the flow of arms from Iran, after it intercepted a missile attack by Houthi rebels near the international airport in Riyadh, the Saudi capital. Iran has denied supplying the missiles. Humanitarian operations, including UN aid flights, are blocked because the air and sea ports, including Hodeidah, where most aid is delivered, are closed.