Yemen's blood bank has sent out an urgent appeal to anyone who will listen as war and a blockade on the capital, Sanaa, may force the centre to close within a week. The National Blood Transfusion Centre director, Dr Adnan al-Hakimi, said the crisis emerged after French medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) informed the bank it was suspending its aid after more than two years of work. "We appeal to all humanitarian organisations in the international community and all financial donors to support the centre, as our medical supplies have nearly run out," said Hakimi. An MSF spokeswoman said the charity had handed over its support for the blood bank to the World Health Organization. "We will only be able to work for one more week, and after that if the humanitarian organisations don't mobilise to support the national centre, it will shut down."
United Nations officials have warned that the conflict in the Arab world's poorest nation is intensifying daily, with armed groups expanding, thousands facing the cholera epidemic, and seven million "on the cusp of famine". Speaking before the UN Security Council on Wednesday, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN special envoy to Yemen, called on all parties "to act for the sake of peace," saying "excuses are unacceptable...especially when the solutions are in plain sight." "The opportunity to reach peace is not yet lost," he said, urging the political leaders to recognise that "the continuation of the war can only lead to more human and physical loss". In the same meeting, UN humanitarian chief Stephen O'Brien said the warring parties and their outside backers should feel "deeply guilty" at driving a worsening conflict that has exposed millions of Yemeni civilians "to unfathomable pain and suffering", including seven million people now "on the cusp of famine." He urged the Security Council to "lean much more heavily and effectively on the parties, and those outside Yemen who are leading this policy and action."
Saudi Arabia's decision to ease its blockade on Yemen does not go far enough, say aid and human rights groups pointing to the spectre of famine that looms over the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country. The kingdom has said it will ease its blockade on rebel-held parts of the country from Thursday and allow "urgent humanitarian and relief materials" to pass through the Red Sea port of Hodeidah and the capital's Sanaa international airport. Saudi Arabia, which has been conducting an air campaign in Yemen since 2015, intensified its embargo on the country on November 5, closing all of the country's land, sea and air ports after Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile towards the capital, Riyadh. The kingdom said the blockade was a necessary precaution aimed at preventing weapons being smuggled into Yemen by its regional rival, Iran. Iran has rejected allegations of arming the Houthis, calling them "malicious, irresponsible, destructive and provocative".
The Saudi and Emirati-led coalition has conducted air strikes on Yemen's Hudaida airport to support forces attempting to seize control from Houthi fighters inside, according to Saudi and Houthi media. The coalition warplanes carried out five strikes on the port city of Hudaida - a lifeline to millions of Yemenis - on Sunday in a continuation of the biggest battle of the war in three years, the Houthis' official SABA news agency said. Saudi-owned broadcaster Al Arabiya also reported strikes on the airport. The coalition launched a major offensive five days ago that could cut off supply lines to the capital Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis. Each side holds various parts of the airport.
SANAA – The Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes on the defense ministry in Yemen's rebel-held capital Sanaa late Friday, witnesses and rebel media said, leaving at least three civilians wounded. The Houthi rebel media outlet Al-Masirah reported two airstrikes targeting the defense ministry. One of the strikes hit a residential area near the ministry, witnesses said. "I was sitting at home and heard the first strike hit the ministry of defense. Minutes later, another strike hit my neighbor's house," resident Mohammed Aatif said.