Saudi-led coalition eased blockade in Yemen

 Saudi-led coalition eased blockade in Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has eased restrictions at the main airport and two key ports, allowing the resumption of some humanitarian aid to the conflict-wracked country after a three-week blockade, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

According to him, three humanitarian flights landed and took off from the capital of Sanaa on Saturday, the first commercial cargo vessel docked in the port of Hodeida on Sunday, and a U.N.-chartered vessel docked at the port in Salif on Monday.

Despite the resumption, he warned that rapidly dwindling fuel stocks and the dire humanitarian situation are pushing at least 7 million people toward famine.

Dujarric said the commercial ship carried 5,500 metric tons of wheat flour and the U.N.-chartered vessel carried 25,000 metric tons of bulk wheat, ABC news reported.

But he stressed that "it is important that there is unimpeded access for both humanitarian and commercial cargo to enter Hodeida and Salif ports, including those carrying fuel."

Earlier in the day, the Nobel Women's Initiative, a group of Nobel peace laureates, had urged the Saudi-led coalition fighting Shiite rebels in Yemen to end the blockade on the Arab world's poorest country, citing the hardships it has caused.

In a statement, the group said 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."