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The report says Yemen’s warring parties are severely limiting aid

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This assistance includes food, health care supplies, water and sanitation support for people in need in the poorest country in the Arab world.

Millions of Yemenis depend on authorities to allow aid to flow freely for health care and other needs, said Gerry Simpson of Human Rights Watch.

Yemen is home to the world’s worst food crisis, largely due to the civil war that puts the Houthis in the north against a coalition led by the Saudis and its allies in the south, including separatist forces. Houthi captured Saana in September 2014. The coalition entered the war in March 2015 on behalf of the internationally recognized Yemeni government.

The New York-based observer said Houthis denied obstructing aid, saying the groups making the allegations were following political orders from the United States. Yemenis supported the government internationally and southern separatists did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

The setbacks led in part to a collapse in donor support for UN aid agencies in June. A senior UN official warned last month that Yemen is slipping into famine as the coronavirus spreads and its economy overloads.

About 24 million Yemenis, or 80% of the country’s population, need some form of assistance or protection, according to the UN already, 75% of UN assistance programs for the country have closed or reduced their operations.

Added to funding shortages, a new fuel crisis, mainly in Houthi-held areas, has further reduced Yemenis’ access to food, hospital care and water supplies, Human Rights Watch said.

Yemen has confirmed more than 2,000 cases of coronavirus, including 584 deaths. However, the current list is believed to be much higher as testing capabilities are very limited and the Houthi have stopped releasing statistics from the areas they hold.

Human Rights Watch called on the UN to establish an independent inquiry into the extent of obstacles and shortcomings in the response of humanitarian communities. He also called on the warring parties to end the obstacles immediately.

However, numerous UN reports and calls have not yet seen the end of the crisis in Yemen.

Copyright 2020 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, transmitted, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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