42 permits granted for ships and relief planes to Yemen

Workers unload aid shipment from a plane at the Sanaa airport Yemen on Friday

Workers unload aid shipment from a plane at the Sanaa airport Yemen on Friday

United Nations officials say Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, is facing the world's worst cholera outbreak, near starvation conditions in some parts and a severe breakdown of the healthcare system.

"One flight from Amman to Sanaa is not going to change the overall picture all that much", Laerke said.

But no green light have been received for United Nations requests to bring humanitarian supply ships to Hodeidah and Salif ports, he said.

The UN humanitarian office said that a ship loaded with wheat and another with equipment to treat the cholera epidemic are ready to head to Hodeida as soon as the Saudi-led coalition gives the go-ahead.

FILE PHOTO: A malnourished boy lies on a bed at a malnutrition treatment center in Sanaa, Yemen November 21, 2017.

Yemen's major needs include water pumps to help stem a massive cholera outbreak and fuel needed to transport food and goods.

On Nov. 16, OCHA said the blocking of fuel imports would lead to the running out of petrol in local markets in 10 days.

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The humanitarian agencies are concerned that the opening might be short-lived, allowing the crisis to continue once vaccines and food from the three planes are expended.

The charity Save the Children said an estimated 20,000 Yemeni children under the age of five were joining the ranks of the severely malnourished every month, "an average of 27 children every hour".

Critics had warned that the blockade could lead to thousands of otherwise preventable deaths but said today that the plane's arrival was not enough.

According to the White House, the Houthi rebels, backed by the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, have used destabilizing missile systems to target Saudi Arabia-systems that were not present in Yemen before the conflict.

The missile was struck down but it was the farthest a projectile by the rebels, also known as Houthis, had penetrated into the kingdom.

The coalition had said it would lift its blockade of the port from Thursday but it remains in place.

"After more than two weeks of blockade of these ports, there are various kinds of supplies essential for fighting starvation, for fighting cholera and other types of humanitarian threats that millions of people are facing in Yemen today", Laerke said.

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