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Trump Calls On Saudis To Allow Humanitarian Aid Into Yemen 'Immediately'

Trump Calls On Saudis To Allow Humanitarian Aid Into Yemen 'Immediately'

"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", Trump said in a brief statement Wednesday.

"This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately", the statement added.

Yemen's Huthi rebels mounted a show of strength in Sanaa on Thursday, holding a mass memorial ceremony for comrades killed in this month's battle for control of the capital. About eight million people are on the brink of starvation with outbreaks of cholera and diphtheria.

The port of Hodeida is the main conduit for UN-supervised deliveries of food and medicine to Yemen, where poverty has been compounded by war and the blockade on ports and airports imposed by the Saudi-led coalition.

"President Trump's public call for Saudi Arabia to end the blockade is long overdue but hugely important", Mr Scott Paul, humanitarian policy lead at Oxfam America, said in a statement on Wednesday. The conflict has seen civilians repeatedly killed by bombing and through a lack of access to food and clean water.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Tuesday that at least 234 people had been killed and another 400 wounded since 1 December. Officials at Saudi-backed Saleh's party vowed to revenge their leader's death and to continue fighting against Iranian-aligned Houthis.

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Saudi Arabia entered Yemen to reinstall the former president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, a Saudi-friendly head of state, and quell the popular Houthi rebellion that has sought to overthrow Hadi.

Sanaa residents have been stocking up on basic goods for fear of further violence.

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said aid workers were able to reach a number of hospitals and health posts in the capital to distribute trauma kits and equipment.

More than 960,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in war-torn Yemen since April 27, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition warplanes have since launched over 30 airstrikes on positions of Houthis inside and outside Sanaa, with no reports of casualties.

"Millions will die in a historic starvation and public health crisis if President Trump's call is not heeded." said Oxfam America official Scott Paul.


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