Norwegian Refugee Council welcomes reported opening of Hodeida Port and Sana'a Airport

Saudi Arabia eases blockade, reopens Yemen's Hudaydah port

The coalition had closed all air, land and sea access to Yemen earlier this month following the launch of a missile fired toward the Saudi capital.

The coalition allowed the resumption of worldwide commercial flights and opened Aden port last week, but it said the main aid route into the country (Hodeidah) would stay closed until it was "satisfied" its Houthi opponents could not use it to bring in weapons.

"We are monitoring these developments and we are trying to see whether that actually takes place on the ground", United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at United Nations headquarters in NY.

Save the Children said that...

The coalition had previously imposed a total blockade of Yemen's ports and airports days after a missile was sacked into Saudi Arabia on November 4.

The statement said reopening the Hodeida Port and Sana'a Airport to enable the flow of commercial supplies is imperative to the survival of millions of Yemeni people, and called on Ansar Allah authorities in Yemen's north to facilitate unhindered access to people in need.

United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock called on November 8 for the blockade to be lifted, warning that Yemen would otherwise face "the largest starvation the world has seen for decades". "Of course, if that were to happen that would be a very welcome and critically important development".


"It is good news, but we are still waiting to see the specific details", Jamie McGoldrick, the UN's humanitarian chief for Yemen, said.

"Reopening the ports to aid but not to commercial imports is pitiful bartering with people's lives", Shane Stevenson, Oxfam's director in Yemen, said.

Millions in Yemen are at immediate risk if food aid and the supply of fuel for pumping clean water are interrupted, it says.

In response, ships were ordered to leave the Red Sea ports of Hodeida and Salef, the only lifeline to northern Yemen where most of the population lives - the two ports are under the control of the Houthis. Both the US and Saudi Arabia say the Houthis got the missile from Iran.

The Saudi-led coalition has laid siege to Yemen since Houthi rebels seized parts of the country in 2015.

The war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis, mostly civilians, and displaced over 3 million, according to humanitarian agencies.

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