Jeddah – United Nations Children’s Rights and Emergency Relief Organization (UNICEF) told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper on Sunday that Houthi rebels have prevented a UNICEF aid convoy from entering the besieged city of Taiz, in a clear violation of the agreed ceasefire.
Juliette Touma, media officer at the UNICEF regional office, said that the organization was maintaining contact with the different warring parties to secure the delivery of humanitarian aid to children and residents of war-stricken areas in Yemen.
She added that UNICEF “urges all warring parties to guarantee the delivery of humanitarian assistance to all children in need across the country, and to allow the distribution of humanitarian aid in legitimate means.”
In this context, governor of Taiz Ali Al-Maamari told Asharq al-Awsat newspaper that Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh were not abiding by the ceasefire. He added that their latest decision to prevent UNICEF aid convoys from entering Taiz was a flagrant violation of the ceasefire.
Maamari said that international organizations were able to offer more assistance to Yemen.
“We believe that international organizations can offer more and can be more efficient in Taiz, but they are not doing so,” he stated.
Media reports said on Saturday that Houthi militias and forces loyal to Saleh prevented a UNICEF delegation headed by the country director of UNICEF from entering Taiz to check on people’s humanitarian and health conditions.
Taiz, about 205km south of the capital Sanaa, has suffered huge destruction since fighting in the city intensified.