Battered Yemen receives first batch of international aid
Planes sent by international aid organizations have reached the Yemeni capital as the Saudi regime continues to batter its impoverished southern neighbor.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the UN children’s agency, UNICEF, said their medical aid arrived in Sana’a on Friday.
The arrival of the planes comes after weeks of appeals for a safe path by aid groups and several days of delay due to logistical problems. Saudi Arabia started its air campaign against Yemen on March 26 without a UN mandate.
“This is the first ICRC plane to have landed in Sana’a. It is loaded with 16 tons of medical aid,” said Marie Claire Feghali, the organisation’s spokeswoman in Yemen. The shipment was made up of “drugs and surgical instruments,” said the ICRC.
“These supplies will mean the difference between life and death for those wounded in this conflict,” said Cedric Schweizer, who leads the ICRC team in Yemen.
UNICEF said it had delivered 16 tons of aid, adding that the shipment contained medical supplies for 80,000 people as well as food supplements for 20,000 children.
“The supplies we have managed to bring in today can make the difference between life and death for children and their families,” said UNICEF’s Yemen representative, Julien Harneis.
Workers at Liege airport in Belgium secure emergency aid from the International Committee of the Red Cross in an aircraft prior to its departure to Yemen on April 9, 2015. ©AFP
On Wednesday, two aid boats arrived in Aden, carrying supplies and medics to treat those injured in the Saudi aggression.
Meanwhile, Saudi forces continued to pound the southern city of Aden overnight as part of Riyadh’s attempt to restore power to the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The Red Cross has been appealing for an immediate truce to facilitate aid deliveries to the impoverished and conflict-stricken country where the people are facing huge hardships on a daily basis.
Hundreds of people have so far been killed and thousands more wounded since the beginning of the Saudi aggression. Most victims of the raids are reported to be women and children.