Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Johannes Van Der Klaauw (4 May 2015) [EN/AR]
(Amman, 4 May 2015) – The aid operation in Yemen is dependent on safe access in and out of the country to meet the life-saving needs of people. For that reason, it is critical that humanitarians are assured safe and reliable access to Sana’a international airport, which is an important operational hub for the country.
However, coalition airstrikes have targeted the runways of Sana'a international airport over the past week, rendering them inoperable. No flights can take off or land while the runways are being repaired.
Yemen's airports constitute an essential lifeline for the country. Without access to the airports, aid agencies are unable to bring in staff, vital supplies of medicines and other critical life-saving assistance, or undertake medical evacuations of their personnel. Emergency relief and medical teams from abroad are likewise unable to fly in to scale up the humanitarian operation to address the needs of increasingly vulnerable Yemenis.
I strongly urge the coalition to stop targeting Sana'a international airport and to preserve this important lifeline - and all other airports and seaports - so that humanitarians can reach all those affected by the armed conflict in Yemen.