The Saudi military last week closed air, sea and land entry points to Yemen, thus causing major disruptions in the delivery of humanitarian aid including life-saving supplies. The blockade caused a sharp rise in the price of basic commodities and thus further exacerbated the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. More than two thirds of Yemen’s population is in need of humanitarian assistance.
The European Union is concerned about the developments in the country with Brussels calling for a full and unrestrained access to humanitarian assistance immediately to avoid the Yemenis to suffer the largest famine in decades. This would risk further undermining the prospects of reaching a sustainable political agreement to the ongoing conflict.
The EU has been in touch with the Saudi authorities and the initial measures should be opening operations in Aden port and opening al Wadea border crossing. The EU also urges the Saudi-led coalition to immediately resume the United Nation’s flights and activities in the ports of Hodeida and Saleef as well as the opening of land borders for humanitarian aid and basic commodities. The delivery of life-saving supplies, which is critical for the Yemeni population’s very survival, must be facilitated by all parties to the conflict.
In March 2015, an international coalition led by Saudi Arabia launched air strikes against the Huthi rebel group, triggering a protracted armed conflict. Over the following two years, the conflict has engulfed the entire country and became a battlefield between pro-Saudi and pro-Iranian forces. The war has claimed lives of more than 4,600 civilians, forced more than 3 million Yemenis out of their homes and forced about 2 million children out of school. Amnesty International has also confirmed that all parties to the conflict have committed human rights violations including war crimes.