Yemen truce lets aid into lifeline Hodeidah port

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on December 14, 2018 - Duration: 01:46s

Yemen truce lets aid into lifeline Hodeidah port

Yemenis in Hodeidah are daring to hope for some respite from the war, as aid floods into the crucial lifeline port.

The country's warring parties have agreed a ceasefire in the city at U.N.

Talks in Sweden.

Lucy Fielder reports.

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Yemen truce lets aid into lifeline Hodeidah port

Some rare good news for Yemen - crucial humanitarian aid shipments flooding in through Hodeidah port.

Yemen's warring parties have agreed to a ceasefire in the city - a vital supply line for millions.

Both the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels who control the port and Saudi-backed government forces have agreed to pull back.

For a people on the brink of famine, it's not a moment too soon: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HODEIDAH ESIDENT, YOUSEF ALI, SAYING: "This is not enough, it's barely enough for a month, (the aid) might last 27, 28 days, even while we are being careful.

But there are no jobs, nothing to cover our needs.

This war has destroyed everything in its path." The breakthrough came on Thursday, at the close of a week of U.N.-brokered talks in Sweden.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N.

SECRETARY-GENERAL, ANTONIO GUTERRES, SAYING: "...and it will improve the living conditions for millions of Yemenis".

Hodeidah became the focus of Yemen's nearly four-year war this year after the Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to seize it.

The Red Sea port is the main entry-point for imports and aid for two-thirds of the country's population.

Yemen is home to the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

Now there's hope the ceasefire might herald a more permanent end to fighting that has driven many from their homes.

And, into a daily struggle for food and medical care.

This hospital is close to Hodeidah's front line.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REGIONAL DIRECTOR OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS (ICRC) IN THE NEAR AND MIDDLE EAST, FABRIZIO CARBONI, SAYING: "I visited the place, it is crowded, a lot of people need the access to this hospital, during the whole hostilities the hospital managed to stay open, it stayed functional." Saudi Arabia and its ally, the UAE, have come under pressure to end the conflict; rights groups say thousands of civilians have perished in their air strikes.

Next, international monitors will be deployed to Hodeidah, and the warring parties should hold a second round of peace talks in January.

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