Humanitarian aid ship to set sail for war-torn Yemen

Published 24.06.2015 22:12

The Turkish Red Crescent will dispatch a ship carrying humanitarian aid to Yemen within two weeks.

The Union of Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) of the Islamic World (İDSB), an umbrella body of Islamic NGOs, called on fellow charities to contribute to humanitarian aid. İDSB Secretary-General Ali Kurt said the Yemenis were in immediate need of food specifically. Kurt said more than 21 million people were in need of humanitarian aid in Yemen, according to United Nations figures, and some 12.5 million people were immediately affected by the war. He said food safety, health conditions, access to water and the lack of shelter were among the main problems of the affected population.

A blockade of Yemen's sea and air ports by Saudi-led forces have led to a humanitarian crisis in Yemen ranging from food and fuel to medicine shortages.

Turkey already distributed humanitarian aid including food and medicine to Yemeni refugees in Djibouti last month.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran the capital Sanaa from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country.

On March 25, Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies began an extensive military campaign targeting Houthi positions across Yemen.

Riyadh says its anti-Houthi campaign comes in response to appeals by embattled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi - currently in Riyadh - for military intervention against the Shiite group.

The Houthis, however, denounce the offensive as unwarranted "Saudi-American aggression" against Yemen.

Turkey supports Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen, though only verbally, but urges a political solution to end the conflict.

Though no concrete figures are available, more than 2,600 people are believed to have been killed in Yemen since March.

The Houthis and the exiled government held talks for a truce last week in Geneva, but they failed to agree on a humanitarian truce. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had earlier called for a 15-day truce during the holy month of Ramadan to allow aid to be delivered to civilians and for the withdrawal of armed forces from cities.

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