AFP / File /
A malnourished Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital in the capital Sanaa
US President Donald Trump took the step of the day Wednesday, November 24, 2011 Sanaa scrambled for supplies. Trump stopped short of calling for a break in the US-backed, Saudi-led bombing of the country, which is enduring what the United Nations calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
But Trump said he had asked for assistance to the Saudi leadership “to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it.” “This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately,” he said in statement. Saudi Arabia and its allies have launched a campaign to Huthi rebels who control Sanaa and have links to Riyadh arch foe, Iran. Seven million people are believed to be at the brink of starvation and a cholera outbreak has caused more than 2,000 deaths. Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Yemen ‘s ports after a Huthi missile was fired at Riyadh airport on November 4. The Trump administration, like the Obama administration before it, has struggled to convince Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to pay more heed to the humanitarian crisis. The conflict has seen civilians repeatedly killed by bombing and through lack of access to food and clean water. – Searching for provisions – Fighting in Sanaa has spiked in a recent showdown between Huthi rebels and loyalists of Yemen’s ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Saleh was killed at the hands of Huthi rebels on Monday and clashes over the streets shuttered by warring factions and the setting up of checkpoints. The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday that at least 234 people had been killed and another 400 wounded since December 1. Saleh’s death came after he bypassed his Huthi allies of three years, telling the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen he was ready to negotiate the crippling siege were lifted. But the move backfired and Saleh was killed as fighting Huthis for the control of the capital – a new front in the war. The ICRC has appealed for “bold measures” to provide life-saving care to civilians after the “unprecedented” escalation of fighting. In Sanaa on Wednesday, residents said they were finally able to leave their homes in Huthi hands. Jamie McGoldrick, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, said:
AFP / Mohammed HUWAIS
He said residents were stocking up on supplies but that fuel shortages were a big concern for the days ahead. The last month warned that the world will be affected by the famine that will affect millions of lives unless the Saudi-led coalition ends its blockade and allows help deliveries into the country.
“We’re living in a state of fear, no security, no life,” said a schoolteacher in Sanaa. America has supported the coalition through the sale of air jets, air-to-air refueling and some limited intelligence sharing. Scott Paul, a humanitarian policy leader at Oxfam America, said Trump’s call was long overdue “hugely important.” “The past month’s escalation has been made in the past few years,” said Paul said in a statement. He also noted that “The fact that US support has helped create a horrific crisis” and called on the United States of America.