US President Donald Trump has called on Saudi Arabia to “allow food, fuel, water, and medicine” into neighboring Yemen, where the impoverished nation is experiencing a human disaster in the wake of the monarchy’s aggression.
“I have directed officials in my Administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water, and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it,” read a statement by the president on Wednesday.
The president’s rare move against the US ally stopped short of requesting the monarchy to stop the US-backed bombardment of the Muslim nation.
According to humanitarian policy leader at Oxfam America, Trump’s call was long overdue but “hugely important.”
“The past month’s escalation has killed thousands and condemned thousands more to die in the near future. Millions will die in a historic famine and public health crisis if President Trump’s call is not heeded,” Scott Paul said in a statement.
He also noted “the fact that US support has helped create Yemen’s horrific crisis” and called on Washington to cease military assistance to the aggressors.
Riyadh imposed a tight blockade on nearly all Yemeni air, land and sea ports on November 6, prompting human rights and charity groups to raise the alarm over the deteriorating situation in the country as people, particularly children, are increasingly suffering from the lack of food and medical supplies.
More than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s deadly campaign against Yemen in March 2015. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.