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December 18 2017, 02:48 | Irvin Gilbert
UN council fails to push Saudi coalition over Yemen blockade
The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemenannounced a suspension of border crossing via air, marine and land routes following a ballistic missile fired from Yemen targeting Saudi capital Riyadh on November 6.
According to local media reports, millions of civilians could avoid the suffering if the Saudi regime reopens this vital port so that humanitarian groups can deliver aid to the people in Yemen.
The U.N. children's agency UNICEF had only three weeks of vaccine supplies left in Yemen, and both UNICEF and the World Health Organization had shipments of essential medicines and vaccines blocked in Djibouti, McGoldrick said.
The coalition said Monday that it would reopen ports in areas held by allied forces and loosen restrictions it had raised after the firing of the missile, which was intercepted near Riyadh's global airport.
The conflict in Yemen began in 2015 and is largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi, who leads a coalition that backs the Yemeni government, and Iran, who backs the Houthi rebel movement.
It said Monday the coalition would lift the blockade after widespread global criticism.
The fiery comments by Saleh al-Sammad, the head of the Presidency Council of the Houthis, came during a rally of thousands of rebel supporters marching down a main boulevard in the capital, Sanaa.
The former United Nations peace envoy tackled the Tory administration over its continued support for the oil-rich kingdom, which has been accused of presiding over a humanitarian catastrophe in the war-torn country.
However other ports, including Houthi-controlled Hodeidah - where some 80 percent of Yemen's food supplies enter - will remain closed until a United Nations verification regime is reviewed to ensure no weapons reach the Houthis, the statement said.
"And without food and safe water, the threat of starvation grows by the day". But the coalition has made little progress, and the rebels still control much of northern Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.
But even before this blockade, Save the Children estimated that "50,000 malnourished children under the age of five [will] die from hunger or disease" in 2017. Murphy explained in the detail the agonizing death from cholera that many in Yemen have already suffered and noting that "by the end of the year there will be 1 million people diagnosed with cholera".
"To deprive this many from the basic means of survival is an unconscionable act and a violation of humanitarian principles and law".