NRC: Lack of getting medical help overseas kills more in Yemen

NRC: Lack of getting medical help overseas kills more in Yemen

NRC: Lack of getting medical help overseas kills more in Yemen

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) along with 14 other aid organizations called on warring parties in Yemen to reopen Sana'a International Airport, warning that the year-long closure hinders the flow of humanitarian aid and prevents thousands of patients from flying overseas for life-saving treatment.

NRC director in Yemen Mutasim Hamdan said Wednesday "beyond airstrikes and cholera, the war in Yemen is devastating Yemeni lives on all fronts".

"Without access to safe commercial travel, Yemenis are left with no way to access critical medical care. Thousands of women, men and children who could have been saved lost their lives".

On Wednesday, however, 15 aid groups and the Houthi rebels called on the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to reopen the airport, saying the year-long closure was hindering aid and preventing thousands of patients from flying overseas for life-saving treatment.

Yemen's health ministry estimates that 10,000 Yemenis have died from critical health conditions for which they were seeking global medical treatment, the statement said, adding it was unable to verify the figure. Last month, a revised United Nations humanitarian assessment said the number of people in need of assistance had risen from 18.8 million to 20.7 million, a figure equivalent to nearly three-quarters of the total population.

Riyadh and its allies have been blocking aid delivery to Yemen.

Aid groups have warned that the closure is hampering the delivery of desperately needed supplies, which now have to go through the Red Sea port of Hodeida.

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The cost of food in Yemen is 33% higher than before the conflict, the NRC said.

Yemen's capital Sanaa is controlled by Shiite Huthi rebels allied with Iran, who for two years have fought the Saudi-backed government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for control of the country.

More than 8,300 people have been killed and 44,000 wounded since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the Yemen war to support the Hadi government.

As well as the deaths of thousands of people, the country's infrastructure has also been devastated.

The relentless bombardment of the impoverished country by Saudi Arabia's warplanes has brought Yemen's healthcare system on the verge of total collapse, destroying hospitals and health facilities, among other civilian targets.

Aid groups, along with the Huthis, on Wednesday appealed to the Saudi-led Arab coalition to allow the delivery of desperately-needed supplies to Yemen, which now faces a deadly cholera epidemic and the imminent threat of starvation.

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