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Saudi, UAE urge int'l community to aid Yemenis in Hodeida

RIYADH, June 14 (KUNA) -- Saudi Arabia and the UAE -- major members in the Coalition for the Restoration of Legitimacy in Yemen -- late Wednesday called for casting light on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the Houthi-controlled Al-Hodeida port and province.
In a joint statement at press conference, Saudi Royal Court Advisor, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation Dr. Reem bint Ibrahim Al-Hashmi touched on the flagrant violations committed by the Houthi militias in Al-Hodeida port.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the two officials blamed the Houthis for barring foreign assistance from being delivered to the needy inside, confiscating the contents of vessels awaiting discharge outside the docks of the port.
The humanitarian assistance being sent by international organizations have been looted by the Houthis in control of Al-Hodeida port, the goods and oil derivatives prevented from entry, causing famine, starvation and poverty inside the province.
A report of former UN envoy for Yemen that the Houthis continue to reject an initiative to allow the assistance enter into the country.
Since 2015, they have seized 19 assistance-laden vessels, looted and robbed 65 vessels and trucks, implanted mines on the road of caravans carrying relief items, Al-Rabeeah said.
He gave an account on the relief items provided by the Coalition countries for Yemeni people over the last three years, saying that they amount to USD 16 billion, including foodstuffs, medical assistance, accommodation items, social support, education, refugee support, economic support and developmental programs and bilateral support in addition to other programs.
He announced that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UAE would provide relief and humanitarian assistance through Al-Hodeida port in the form of a sea bridge from Jazan port and Abu-Dhabi port to Al-Hodeida.
Further on the poor infrastructure in the province, the Houthis have destroyed the remnants of service facilities in Al-Hodeida province and Yemen at large, the statement said.
Al-Rabeeah said that Saudi assistance and relief items provided for Yemenis since May 2015 reached over USD one billion, financing 262 projects through 80 local and international partners, including health, food security, early treatment, accommodation and shelter, water, environment treatment, nutrition, education, protection and others, including 71 projects for women and 83 humanitarian projects for children.
He said Saudi Arabia received 561,911 Yemeni refugees and in response to the WHO and UNICEF, provided USD 66.7 million to combat Cholera in Yemen.
Al-Rabeeah reported that the Kingdom has managed to rehabilitate 2000 children who have been enlisted by the Houthi militias to join the war. He said the Kingdom also disbursed an amount of USD 1.35 million to combat malnutrition in Al-Hodeida and USD two million in other provinces.
He added that a hospital in Al-Hodeida was currently being reconstructed with the Saudi assistance worth Saudi Riyal 1.91 million. The Kingdom responded to the UN calls to support Al-Hodeida province with USD 142 million, said Al-Rabeeah, indicating that Saudis gave the World Food Organization (WHO) USD 10 million in 2016-2017.
The number of food baskets to Yemen from 2015 to February 2018 reached 390,000, he revealed.
He said the Center has signed an executive program with the WHO worth USD 17.6 million to provide Al-Hodeida province with 8,090 food baskets monthly for three months.
The project will start soon, he added.
For her part, the UAE senior official said the UAE has responded to the UN plan to relieve Yemen and offered USD 500 million in support of the plan.
She cast light on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen because of the Houthi control of things in Sanaa and Al-Hodeida. (end) od.gta