Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy. (Photo: WAM)

She added that “We have set up an updated system to ensure that the continued and priority movement of aid across several lines of conflict continues.” … reports Asian Lite News.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation during press conferance. (Photo: WAM)

The United Arab Emirates, as part of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, views the safety of civilians in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah and the delivery of humanitarian aid to them as being “of the utmost significance,” according to Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation.

She added that “We have set up an updated system to ensure that the continued and priority movement of aid across several lines of conflict continues.”

Describing this commitment as being “at the forefront of our efforts in Yemen,” Al Hashemy told a press briefing today that the UAE fully supports the efforts being undertaken, in line with UN Security Council resolution 2216, to restore “the legitimate government’s full operations within the country.”

She added that the members of the Coalition also sought to ensure, as far as possible, the development of an effective political process, within the framework being led by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths.

“Three years has been a very long time for this political process to result in a positive impact,” she said. “We continue to believe in its necessity and importance, but we also equally believe that we cannot continue to wait indefinitely, and certainly the Yemenis cannot continue living under truly nightmarish conditions. ”

These conditions, she said, were a direct result of violent acts by the Houthis, including the use of land and sea mines, improvised explosive devices, IEDs, and the use of human shields, as well the hindering and obstruction of civilian movement. Such acts, she added, which have included the destruction of a water storage facility, are intended to maximise civilian casualties and to damage key infrastructure, in blatant disregard of international laws and regulations.

Describing the acts of the Houthis as being “a foolish manipulation tactic,” she added that they will not lead to a withdrawal by the Coalition.

“The current status quo is not acceptable, and therefore we are very keen and determined to ensure that there is a full withdrawal of the Houthis from Hodeidah City.”

The Port of Hodeidah continues to function, she said, despite attempts by the Houthis to plant Russian-made mines in surrounding waters to frustrate Coalition plans to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid. “UN entities continue to offload their aid from their ships and continue to receive clearances,” she noted.

As far as the future of the Port is concerned, the Minister said that the proposals being put forward are being evaluated. “We are open to finding ways in which this would work for the people in Yemen, and which the legitimate government can fully endorse.” The UAE, she said, continues to be “a very thoughtful, open and approachable partner in some of these very difficult conversations, because we believe that the end-game and outcome for Yemenis are the factors that are the most important.”

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation during press conferance. (Photo: WAM)

She went on to discuss the five-point humanitarian assistance plan for Hodeidah, led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia, that seeks to cover the needs for food, shelter, water and sanitation, healthcare, and fuel. The UAE is committed, in close co-operation with other Coalition members, in particular Saudi Arabia, to the delivery of a comprehensive humanitarian assistance plan is in place, she said.

The UAE “has liaised with various UN agencies and bodies, to ensure that what we are putting in place is delivered on the ground,” she added.

Referring to the success of the Coalition forces in recovering control over Hodeidah Airport, Al Hashemy noted the complexity of the situation.

“We continue to take very careful, measured, and practical approaches towards the situation on the ground because of the fragility of the humanitarian situation and the continued manipulation of Houthi militias,” she said. “We are a responsible player and respectful of international humanitarian law.”

So far, the Minister said, the UAE has delivered around 35,000 metric tonnes of food supplies, sufficient for two million people for one month, while teams from the Emirates Red Crescent have been sent to help to distribute the food safely and efficiently to residents of Hodeidah.

She went on to note that the Coalition is taking steps to ensure that the movement of humanitarian convoys “could in no way be mistaken for the movement of anything else.”

Humanitarian aid is currently being delivered by land, sea and air, while the liberation of the Port of Aden by Coalition forces, she said, had resulted in an increase of over 50 per cent in aid deliveries by commercial bodies and UN agencies.

Trucks carrying parcels containing 25kg. of basic foodstuffs have recently been taken by the ERC to 1,000 families in the town of Al Khawkhah, south of Hodeidah, she added, equivalent to supplies for 7,000 people for a month.

“We continue to work diligently to bring aid support using a multi-pronged approach,” Al Hashemy explained, adding that once Hodeidah Airport’s perimeter is secured, airdrops via an active aid air bridge from the UAE to help the people in Yemen will immediately be launched.

The objective, she said, is to ensure that the distribution of aid reaches the whole of Hodeidah Governorate, not merely its periphery, despite the challenges presented by the use by the Houthis of civilians and civilian-occupied areas.

“Restoring the dignity of the people of Yemen,” is a core commitment for the Coalition Forces, Al Hashemy stressed. “We are committed to help the Yemeni people to create a stable environment and opportunities that will help them to thrive. We are here for the long run. Yemenis are our neighbours, and members of a community that we hold incredibly dear. That is why,” she concluded,” we completely reject the continued Houthi violations and their manipulation of a fragile state for their own ideological advancement.”

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