Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has delivered desperately needed medical supplies to Yemen’s war-torn central city of Taiz for the first time in five months.
Taiz has become a flashpoint in the ongoing Yemeni war between the Iran-allied Houthi fighters, who control the capital Sanaa, and forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
Keep readinglist of 4 items
Hadi loyalists control Aden and much of the country’s south with the backing of an Arab coalition assembled by Saudi Arabia.
MSF said in a statement on Sunday that two lorries filled with medical supplies had been allowed to enter Taiz on Saturday and help re-supply hospitals that are struggling to cope with a large number of victims from fighting in the city, seen as the strategic gateway between the capital and the country’s south.
“We’re grateful that we managed to deliver the medical supplies to the hospitals in this besieged area where they are seeing large number of patients with war wounds,” said Karline Kleijer, MSF’s emergency manager for Yemen.
“The essential medical supplies – including chest tubes, anesthetic drugs, fluid, sutures and antibiotics – will support life-saving surgeries in the hospitals.”
MSF said that it was the first time it had been able to deliver medical supplies to Taiz’s hospitals since August.
Heavy fighting in the city and the inability of aid groups to deliver medical supplies have caused a large number of hospitals and clinics to close.
“We are asking all parties to this conflict to reduce the suffering of the people in Yemen and continue to allow for medical supplies and other essentials like fuel and food to enter the country and all severely affected areas, like the Taiz enclave,” Kleijer said.
The UN said in December that food supplies were deteriorating quickly and Yemen was at risk of slipping into famine, with 10 of the country’s 22 governorates classified as facing food insecurity at “emergency” levels.
Elsewhere in Yemen, at least 11 people were reportedly killed on Sunday when a suicide car bomb exploded outside the home of the director of security for Aden.
In Sanaa, meanwhile, a police colonel was killed by an assailant on a motorbike.