'No Indication' Saudi Coalition Reopening Yemen Ports

Huge increase in arms sales to Saudi Arabia since Yemen bombing began

Coalition to Gradually Reopen Yemen's Seaports, Airports

McGoldrick emphasized on the fact that United Nations aid was the main lifeline for most of Yemen's population, seven million of whom are at risk of starvation.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Houthis said last week it had closed all air, land and seaports in Yemen to stem "the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran".

On Monday, Saudi Arabia said it would begin opening airports and seaports, but that has not happened yet. "I think it poses a critical threat to the lives of millions who are already struggling to survive". But, said McGoldrick, the blockade puts that progress in jeopardy. For ports in rebel-held or disputed territories, such as the city of Hodeida, the mission said it has asked the U.N.to send a team of experts to discuss ways to make sure weapons can't be smuggled in.

"The humanitarian impact of what is happening here right now is unimaginable", he told reporters in Geneva in a phone conference. The Houthis have denied that.

A man looks from the door of an emergency ward at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen November 14, 2017.

So far, Saudi wants to bring supplies into Yemen via the ports of Jizan and Aden, a plan McGoldrick said was risky and slow.

Humanitarian agencies had been successful in preventing starvation and tackling a cholera outbreak that has sickened more than 900,000 people in six months and killed over 2,200.

The strike "led to the total destruction of the VOR/DME radio navigation system, taking it offline and thus halting the only flights at Sanaa airport - those of the United Nations and other global organisations delivering humanitarian assistance", the rebel-run General Authority for Civil Aviation said in a statement. There's enough wheat and rice to feed the population of 28 million for four months.

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.

In a statement, Saudi's permanent United Nations representative said he confirms that "steps are being taken by the [Saudi-led] Coalition in full consultation and agreement with the Government of Yemen, to start the process of reopening airports and seaports in Yemen to allow for the safe transfer of humanitarian actors and humanitarian and commercial shipments".

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