Seven million people are facing #Famine in #Yemen after coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United Arab Emirates tightened its blockade in the country last week, stopping aid coming into the country.

A number of humanitarian and charitable flights have been cancelled for the last week and over 20 million Yemenis (over 70% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance, including vital medical assistance.

Food stock will run out

At the current rate, Yemen's food stock will run out in approximately 100 days and UN Aid Chief, Mark Lowcock, has said if the restrictions remain, Yemen will face “the largest famine the world has seen for many decades, with millions of victims”.

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The move came after the Houthis — the rebels who seized power three years ago and whom Saudi Arabia views as a proxy for Iran — launched a ballistic missile targeting the airport of the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Although the missile was intercepted, the incident enraged Saudi leaders who labelled it an act of war by Iran.

However, the Arab coalition claimed the country has been cut off in order to "address vulnerabilities" in its inspections procedures and has repeatedly denied there is a hunger crisis in the areas where they are in power.

Lowcock has called for an immediate resumption of UN and other aid flights. He requires assurances from the coalition there would be no further disruptions to them in addition to the re-opening of port access and all vessels which have passed UN inspection be allowed to offload.

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Human Rights Watch reacts

Following international outrage, Saudi Arabia has said airports, border crossings and ports controlled by the Yemeni coalition although major ones, which the majority of the country's aid passes through, will remain closed until Saudi Arabian officials have sought advice on how to prevent weapons from being smuggled. Human Rights Watch has labelled this "a cruel fiction" through which "Yemeni children [could] die preventable deaths." Instead, Human Rights Watch recommends those obstructing aid to Yemen should be sanctioned.

Yemen has also recently experienced the worst #Cholera outbreak on record which caused over 2000 deaths, partly due to a siege by the coalition beginning in March 2015 that limited the country's ability to cope with such a crisis. This led to the outbreak spreading widely across the country. Although the numbers continued to rise, the response by aid agencies who set up treatment centres around the country resulted in the rate of infection beginning to ease.