Yemen is facing the world’s largest ever humanitarian crisis with 75% of its population in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The war has claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people, maimed 10,000 and displaced millions, putting their lives at stake, too. In spite of that, a report by human rights NGO, Amnesty International, claims that the Saudi-led coalition is restricting aid supplies coming from UN agencies and humanitarian organizations, from entering Yemen via Hodeidah port. Meanwhile, countries backing the coalition, especially the United States, are not only quiet over Saudi’s misconduct, but are also continuing to equip them in the war despite the affiliation leading to Yemen blockade.
The report called Stranglehold, documents the restrictions imposed by Saudi-led coalition on the import of aid and essential goods such as, food, fuel, and medicines, to the Yemeni civilians in its urgent need. However, according to the report, Saudi Arabia isn’t the only culprit because besides the restriction on aid supplies imposed by them, an additional delay in its supply is caused by the Houthi de facto authorities in the region. It is said that the distribution of aid supplies released by the Saudi-led coalition is further stalled by the militant group, which is apparently asking for ‘bribes’ in the exchange for allowing the distribution of supplies.
However, Saudi Arabia intervened the conflict in Yemen with the intent to drive out Iran-backed Houthi militants from the country. In fact, concerned about the constant rise in number of civilian casualties and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Yemen, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, on the behalf of KSA and the UAE, gave $930 million funds in aid to the UN on 27 March, 2018.
Nevertheless, as per Amnesty International if the extreme restrictions enforced by the coalition are not challenged, could soon turn the Yemen blockade into a ‘war crime’. The coalition’s constant tightening of naval blockade on Houthi-controlled ports such as Saleef and Hodeidah, have only resulted in keeping Yemenis off othe access to food supplies, pushing them into the state of starvation. Despite it all, countries in support of the Saudi-led coalition, also led by its gulf ally, the United Arab Emirates, continue to arm forces loyal to the two gulf nations who have not only induced a humanitarian crisis in Yemen, but have also aggravated it by restricting the supply of aid and essential goods from reaching civilians in need.