SENATOR THE HON PENNY WONG

LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION IN THE SENATE

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS

LABOR SENATOR FOR SOUTH AUSTRALIA

MEDIA RELEASE

4 December 2017

YEMEN BLOCKADE MUST BE FULLY LIFTED TO END HUMANITARIAN CRISIS

Labor is deeply concerned that the Saudi led Military Coalition is yet to fully lift the blockade of Sana’a Airport and Hodeidah and Saleef ports in Yemen.

The Senate today expressed its deep concern at the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen where 21 million Yemeni are reliant on humanitarian assistance.

The motion observes this situation is being made worse by the ongoing disruption to the free movement of life saving humanitarian assistance with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs raising grave concern about the impact on the capacity to respond to the continued Cholera outbreak and the growing incidents of Diphtheria.

A small number of shipments have recently been given access to Yemen, allowing some much needed humanitarian supplies to be distributed.

But the situation in Yemen remains dire with an estimated 7 million on the brink of famine. Failure to fully lift the blockade has real consequences for the people of Yemen.

Yemeni children are especially vulnerable to the impacts of any continued blockade with Save the Children reporting that up to 130 children are dying each day as a result of hunger and disease.

Labor urges the Saudi Government to carry through with its promise to lift this blockade and allow the free movement of humanitarian and commercial trade into Yemen.