UN agencies call for lifting Yemen blockade

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UN agencies have again warned of the humanitarian costs of a Saudi led blockade in Yemen, saying it may lead to thousands of deaths.

A combined statement of World Food Programme, Unicef and the World Health Organisation said that the blockade is preventing entry of medicines, vaccines and food to the country.

“Without them [supplies], untold thousands of innocent victims, among them many children, will die,” the statement said.

Saudi Arabia, which is concerned over entry of arms shipments through the ports, on Monday said that it would allow entry of aid through Yemen’s internationally-recognised-government-controlled ports such as Aden, Mocha and Mukalla.

But it said it needed to discuss the special procedures for this with UN special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

The World Food Programme estimates that 3.2 million more people will be be under hunger, even with partial lifting of the blockade. It also says that 150,000 malnourished children could die within the coming months, if they are left untreated.

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