UN delivers medicine to besieged Yemen city

Aid arrives in Taez for the first time since the beginning of the civil war.

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Geneva // The UN health agency on Saturday delivered eight tonnes of medical supplies to hospitals in Yemen’s besieged city of Taez.

“The truck arrived in Taez City yesterday,” World Health Organisation spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said. “The medicines have been distributed to hospitals today.”

The WHO said it was the first time since the start of Yemen’s civil war that the UN had negotiated access by a direct route to Taez, crossing the front line between rebels and pro-government forces to distribute the aid.

Mr Jasarevic said that previously the UN had only been able to get some medical supplies to Taez via smaller, side roads.

The WHO said more than 350,000 people were in urgent need of medical aid in Taez, Yemen’s third largest city where forces loyal to president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi’s government are fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

Yemen this month marks two years since a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in the conflict in support of Mr Hadi’s government.

UN mediation efforts and seven ceasefire accords have failed to end the war, which has left more than 7,500 dead and 40,000 people wounded.

* Agence France-Presse