At least 10,000 people have died in Yemen as a result of the Saudi-led coalition's restriction on airspace and the closure of Sanaa airport a year ago, Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said citing Sanaa's Ministry of Health. The rights group joined 14 other aid organisations that called on warring parties in Yemen to reopen the country's main airport on Wednesday, saying the year-long closure was hindering the flow of aid and preventing thousands of patients from flying abroad for life-saving treatment. "Denial of access to travel has condemned thousands of Yemenis with survivable illnesses to death," Mutasim Hamdan, the NRC's director in Yemen, said in a statement. "Without access to safe, commercial travel, Yemenis are left with no way to access critical medical care. Thousands of women, men and children who could have been saved lost their lives."
Yemen's Minister of State, who recently said the country's president was held under house arrest in Saudi Arabia, has announced his resignation. In a post on Twitter late on Tuesday, Salah al-Sayadi said: "I declare my final resignation from the government for reasons I will explain later". The minister had said that President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was under house arrest in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. He warned of negative consequences for Yemenis if Hadi did not return back to his country. "All Yemenis are calling for demonstrations and rallies for the return of President Hadi to Yemen," al-Sayadi said.
The United Nations says that if Saudi Arabia reopens the airport in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and its Red Sea ports of Hodeida and Salef as the kingdom has indicated it would do, it will be "a very welcome and critically important development." U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York that senior U.N. humanitarian and political officials received information from their Saudi counterparts on Wednesday, indicating a willingness to open the airport and ports "over the next day." Haq said the U.N. is "monitoring these developments and we're trying to see whether that actually takes place on the ground." He also said the world body has "made clear the tremendous amount of needs on the ground." He also says: "We're ready to help if the ports are opened."