World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations Security Council and U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien on Thursday pushed for more aid and commercial access to Yemen, where a near total blockade by Saudi Arabia has slowed shipments to the war-torn Arabian Peninsula country to a trickle.
Commercial cargo ships carrying food, fuel and other vital supplies must be allowed to reach ports in Yemen which is threatened by famine, the UN Security Council said Thursday.
O'Brien said 80 percent of Yemen's 25 million people needed help and half the country was just one step from famine. Yemen imports nearly all its goods and O'Brien said commercial shipments had dropped to 15 percent of the pre-crisis levels.
"Let's be absolutely clear, it's vital that we get commercial ships back in," O'Brien told reporters, adding that a lack of fuel prevented the delivery of aid within the country.
"The health system is facing imminent collapse with the closure of at least 160 health facilities due to insecurity and lack of fuel or other critical supplies," O'Brien said.
In a statement, the 15-member U.N. Security Council "stressed the urgent need for ongoing commercial supplies to enter Yemen as a humanitarian imperative because of the heavy dependence of Yemen and its people on imported food and fuel."
The council backed U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call for a humanitarian pause in fighting to allow aid delivery.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Haziran 2015, 11:13