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Red Cross does not have planes to send humanitarian aid to Yemen

April 06, 2015, 14:52 UTC+3 GENEVA
The organization is ready to send 48 tons of aid to Yemen, along with tents, generators and equipment for repairing water pipes and is currently holding talks with airliners on a cargo plane
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© AP Photo Archive/Lefteris Pitarakis

GENEVA, April 6. /TASS/. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) does not have a plane to send humanitarian aid to Yemen, ICRC spokeswoman Sitara Jabeen told TASS on Monday, noting that "logistics problems" remain.

Earlier, the Red Cross received a permission to send two planes to Yemen. ICRC is currently holding talks with airliners on a cargo plane, but Jabeen could not clarify when a final decision is expected. However, "we are doing everything possible," she said.

Yemen urgently needs medicaments and surgical equipment, Jabeen stressed. ICRC is ready to immediately send 48 tons of aid to Yemen, along with tents, generators and equipment for repairing water pipes. The items are stored in Jordan, Djibouti and Switzerland’s Geneva. The Red Cross also wants to send a group of surgeons from Djibouti to Yemen’s second-largest city of Aden, but they will require a permission from Houthi rebels as well.

On Saturday, the Red Cross called on all sides in the Yemeni conflict to declare "a 24-hour humanitarian pause" and open air, ground and sea channels for delivering humanitarian aid.

On April 4, Russia proposed a draft resolution in the UN Security Council that called for establishing "regular and obligatory" pauses in military actions in Yemen for evacuating people and ensuring "safe and unhampered humanitarian access" to provide assistance to people. Voting on the UN Security Council resolution on Yemen is expected in the middle of this week, a diplomatic source told TASS earlier on Monday.

Crisis in Yemen

Since August 2014, Yemen has been hit by a severe political and security crisis. In late January, the armed groups of Ansar Allah (Houthi rebels) forced the president and the government to announce resignation. The rebels later took control of the country’s capital and several northern provinces. They also announced the adoption of the so-called constitutional declaration.

Overnight to March 26, Saudi Arabia launched a military operation in the neighboring country and delivered air strikes at several Houthi positions. Yemeni President Abd Rabbah Mansur Hadi fled the country to Saudi Arabia.

Houthi rebels are currently fighting pro-government forces over control of Aden. The coalition is currently considering launching a ground operation in Yemen to oust Houthis.

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