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Saudi Blockade Worsening Yemen Humanitarian Disaster

Nov. 8, 2017 (EIRNS)—UN humanitarian officials made clear, during a joint press conference yesterday, that the Saudi blockade of all access to Yemen is rapidly intensifying an already dangerous humanitarian crisis in the country. Jens Laerke, spokesman for UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), reported that the blockade has already caused a 60% rise in the price of gasoline and a doubling of the price of cooking gas. According to the UN transcript of the press conference, he said that OCHA was very concerned about the likely rapid negative impact of the closure of entry ports on the already dire humanitarian situation in the country, where 7 million people were fighting against famine-like conditions and were completely reliant on humanitarian aid to survive. If supplies came to a halt, food insecurity would deepen and the world would be confronted with an even greater humanitarian crisis. It was vital that food, fuel and medicine imports should continue to enter the country. Laerke said that OCHA would continue to push for the delivery of humanitarian supplies via any and all entry points.

Rupert Colville, spokesman for the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), reported that the number of confirmed civilian casualties in Yemen stands at 14,168 (5,295 people killed and 8,873 injured), though the actual numbers are likely to be far higher. According the latest news reports, the Saudi bombing campaign is continuing without any letup.

Outside the UN. Robert Mardini, ICRC’s regional director for the Near and Middle East, said yesterday that shipments of insulin are blocked at the Saudi-Yemen border. He also said, reported the Guardian, that he was also concerned at the "steadily growing" number of civilian casualties and the targeting of non-military infrastructure, such as water treatment plants and civilian airports.

"Such actions are in violation of international humanitarian law," he said. A spokeswoman for the ICRC, Iolanda Jaquemet, reported that a shipment of chlorine tablets, vital for fighting the cholera epidemic in the country, was also blocked at the border.

"There are currently no movements in and out of Yemen. Given how fragile the country is, and the way the conflict is being waged, any additional restrictions on imports can have catastrophic effect,"

she said, reported the Washington Post.

This man-made disaster, it should be recalled, was imposed on Yemen by the same people behind the 9/11 attacks on the United States.