Sana’a, 18 May 2022 (TDI): This week, Oxfam responded to the first flight from Yemen’s Sana’a airport. Ferran Puig, the Country Director of Oxfam in Yemen, responded:

“The re-opening of Sana’a airport is a positive step that restores hope for an end to the suffering of millions of Yemenis after seven harrowing years of conflict. Regular flights will help people get much needed medical help.

The re-opening also helps pave the way to extending the current truce beyond the end of May deadline. Oxfam welcomes the commitment of all parties to the conflict in maintaining the truce and ensuring the re-opening of the airport.

The opportunity should now be seized to create a comprehensive peace process to bring lasting peace to Yemen and to end the humanitarian crisis. It is crucial that negotiations now start to reopen the roads to Taiz to ease the suffering of civilians in the city.”

Yemen Crisis

More than 320,000 medical cases were unable to travel for treatment, according to the Ministry of Health’s Sana’a office. This was owing to the airport’s closure. More than 28,000 cancer patients died due to shortage of medical supplies.

The major humanitarian crisis in the makeshift nation on the Arabian Peninsula’s southern tip was caused by the Houthi rebels. The Saudi-led coalition supported the government against the rebels, according to the UN. This triggered the conflict in Yemen.

More than 23 million Yemenis require humanitarian assistance across the country. The battle has also put the Persian Gulf’s security at risk. The restart of flights from Sanaa’s airport is part of a two-month cease-fire negotiated by the UN.

The Houthi rebels took control of flights, and the deal entered into effect in early April. Since August 2016, the airport has been closed to commercial traffic. The first flight from Sana’a airport is a stepping stone towards a lasting peace for Yemen.

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