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Trump: Saudi Arabia must lift blockade on Yemen

The UN has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis [AFP]

Date of publication: 7 December, 2017

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President Trump called for Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade on Yemen immediately suggesting Washington had run out patience
American president Donald Trump said Saudi Arabia must lift its crushing blockade against Yemen on Wednesday.

In a statement on Wednesday afternoon, the US president said: "I have directed officials in my administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 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," the president added.

Saudi Arabia and its allies tightened a land, sea and air blockade November 6 after a missile attack by rebels on the Saudi capital Riyadh

Oxfam International applauded Trump’s statement, calling it "long overdue but hugely important."

More than 11 million children in Yemen are in acute need of aid according to UNICEF.

Yemen is witnessing one of the world's worst outbreaks of cholera, with nearly one million people infected. Some 2,200 people have died from the disease.

Last month, the Nobel Women’s Initiative said in a statement said that the blockade "rendered access to humanitarian assistance impossible for the people of Yemen," and "denies millions of vulnerable and innocent civilians access to food, fuel and medical supplies."

Saudi Arabia and its allies intervened in neighbouring Yemen in March 2015 to push back the rebels who control the capital Sanaa, in an attempt to restore the government of Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to power.

The UN has listed Yemen as the world's number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of famine.

Since 2014, the war in Yemen has killed at least 10,000 civilians.

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