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GCC intensifies efforts to expand Yemen relief operations

RIYADH: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) said it has intensified efforts to expand relief operations in Yemen, ensure delivery of aid and address humanitarian concerns.
The move follows a meeting in Riyadh on Thursday of the GCC coordination office for humanitarian assistance and relief to Yemen, where 19 million people are in need of aid.
The meeting reviewed the GCC’s relief and humanitarian work, while discussing necessary steps to combat disease, malnourishment and starvation in Yemen, as well as implementing new projects in various sectors.
Abdul Raqib Fatah, minister of local administration and chairman of the Yemeni Relief Committee, briefed attendees on operations carried out by GCC countries and progress made in terms of aid and relief supplies throughout Yemen.
The GCC’s intensive efforts have contributed to a decline in the number of cholera cases, he said.
The meeting in Riyadh also discussed aid-delivery plans, threats posed by Houthi militias, and rebel violence and violations that have caused a humanitarian disaster, he added.
Fatah denounced “the international community’s silence” over the Houthis’ persistent interception and obstruction of aid convoys, and the threat they pose to humanitarian efforts.
Dr. Ibrahim Al-Qayid, founding member of the Riyadh-based National Society for Human Rights, said: “The massive aid and relief operation in Yemen led by the Kingdom deserves all commendations.”
He added that the Houthis and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh “don’t care about the deplorable situation in Yemen.”
The Houthis “are committing human rights violations and killing their own people,” Al-Qayid said.
He urged all UN organizations to firmly condemn the parties responsible for obstructing humanitarian efforts.
“Despite all these handicaps, the GCC as a bloc has intensified its relief efforts, while Saudi Arabia ranks top in terms of carrying out aid and relief operations in Yemen,” Al-Qayid said.

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