Group: Pledge to ease Yemen blockade falls short

Saudi Arabia eases blockade, reopens Yemen's Hudaydah port

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The UN and other advocacy groups have pressured the Saudi-led coalition to allow aid into Yemen through the Hodeida and Saleef seaports, which the coalition had said they would reopen.

The port of Salef is also expected to reopen, deputy United Nations spokesman Farhan Haq said in NY, citing information that United Nations humanitarian and political officials had received from their Saudi counterparts.

Saudi Arabia tightened a blockade on Yemen earlier this month after Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the country fired a rocket deep into the conservative Sunni Muslim country. "If that were to happen that would be a very welcome and critically important development".

Saudi Arabia eases blockade, reopens Yemen's Hudaydah port
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The Huthi government on Tuesday announced the country's main global airport was fully functional again a week after a Saudi-led air strike destroyed the facility's navigation system. Some 7 million people are estimated to rely on food aid and 4 million on fuel needed for pumping clean water.

The move comes amid mounting calls from worldwide aid groups, warning that mass starvation and lack of medication is going to soon be killing thousands of civilians daily in Yemen.

United Nations aid chief Mark Lowcock called on November 8 for the blockade to be lifted, warning that Yemen would otherwise face "the largest starvation the world has seen for decades".

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The Arab Coalition in Yemen announced on Friday that 42 permits were issued for ships and relief aircrafts.

The U.N. humanitarian chief in Yemen says the closure of the country's main airport and two seaports by a Saudi-led coalition has threatened gains made in containing cholera and the risk of starvation in the war-torn country.

The coalition said on Wednesday that it would reopen the war-torn country's main airport and a key Red Sea port to humanitarian traffic on Thursday.

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In 2015, Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the Yemeni government's fight against the rebels.

Tehran has so far denied arming Iranian-allied Shiite Houthis against the Saudi-led coalition which seeks to restore President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who was ousted by Houthis in September 2014.

More than 8,750 people have since been killed.

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