Reopen Sana’a airport become urgent necessity: Report
Yemenis who died waiting to leave the country for urgent life-saving care, were handed a death sentence when the Saudi-led coalition blockaded northern Yemen by closing down the airport in Sana’a.
There is no justification for punishing very sick civilians by blocking them from accessing medical treatment.
The closure of Sana’a airport is one example of the way the use of blockade is causing intolerable suffering for civilians. This includes restrictions on humanitarian goods, commercial imports of food, fuel and medicines.
At least 36,000 Yemenis are estimated to have died waiting to get specialized medical treatment abroad according to the Ministry of Health in Sana’a.
Years of bombing, shelling and gunfire have damaged half of the country’s hospitals and clinics. Medical cargo through the airport has almost come to a complete halt. Yemen’s healthcare system teeters on the brink of collapse.
Before the first case of Covid-19 reached Yemen in April, the blockade and other import restrictions had left doctors struggling with obsolete equipment, and doubled the cost of many essential medicines. This stranglehold has continued during the pandemic, when obtaining the fuel to run ventilators or getting hold of a bar of soap marks the difference between life and death.
Aid organizations have repeatedly called on the Saudi-led coalition to agree that medicine, food and fuel can freely enter Yemen, and restart regular passenger flights from the capital of Sana’a. But so far calls have fallen on deaf ears.
In his part, the Arab and Islamic Gathering Forum on Supporting the Resistance in the UK announced its solidarity with international campaigns, supporting humanitarian calls in Yemen and the world calling for the opening of Sanaa International Airport.
In a statement, the Forum called on the international community and the United Nations to fulfill its humanitarian duty to exert political, legal, and human rights pressure on the US-Zionist, Saudi-Emirati aggression to allow oil tankers to enter Yemen, and to neutralize Sanaa airport from military conflict.
“People across the globe are hoping their national airports reopen and some form of “normal” life can resume.
Opening Sana’a International Airport and the country’s air, land, and sea routes is one concrete step that would have a life-changing impact for Yemeni people.