According to non-confirmed information, the Yemeni city of Aden has started preparations for the return of the head of the government, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who has been in exile for several months. At the moment, there is an armed conflict in the country between the army, which is loyal to him, and Houthi militants from the Shiite movement of Ansar Allah and a part of the army which supports the former president Ali Salekh. Hadi is also supported by the coalition of the Arab countries, which is headed by Saudi Arabia. It has been bombing regions of Yemen controlled by the Houthis for 6 months.
The Russian Foreign Ministry is concerned about the situation. Maria Zakharova, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, explained that “the continued fighting and airstrikes of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia on the positions of Houthis and their supporters has lead to an increase in the number of victims of the conflict, including among the civilian population.”
According to estimates of UN humanitarian organizations, since the beginning of the coalition's operations the number of dead has exceeded 4500 people, and 24,000 have been wounded. The number of those who are in need of humanitarian aid has reached 21 million people. In fact, maybe even more than 80% of the total population. Over 1.5 million of the population have fled to neighboring countries or have been internally moved, part of the population has escaped to Djibouti and Somalia. About 13 million people are at food risk, 6.5 million of whom are chronically hungry.
Vital infrastructure is being destroyed as a result of the ground fighting and selective attacks and massive air attacks, including schools, hospitals and water pumping stations. All humanitarian agencies note the catastrophic situation with the lack of fuel, making it difficult to deliver aid to the remote regions of the country. No less urgent is the issue of water scarcity and medical provision.
“The state of the agricultural sector in Yemen is a case of particular concern, which until recently has provided work for half of the country's population. It is expected that this year's grain production will fall by 30%, and fish products by 50-70%. This will only worsen an already catastrophic food situation in the country,” Zakharova said.
The Foreign Ministry hopes that the newly-created UN mechanisms of verification and inspection of commercial cargo to Yemen will help to neutralize the effects of the trade blockade imposed by the coalition and to establish a situation with the delivery of commercial goods to the country.
Russia does not only speak about the critical situation in the humanitarian sphere in the country, but also offers all possible assistance to the Yemeni people. “The Emergency Situations Ministry's special flights regularly deliver humanitarian aid essentials. At the moment the Russian side is considering the possibility of sending food aid to the population of Yemen through the UN World Food Programme,” Zakharova said.
The Foreign Ministry is convinced that it will be possible to break radically the degrading humanitarian situation in Yemen only if there is a settlement of the political crisis through peaceful means.