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CARE welcomes announcement of re-opening of Yemen’s Sana'a Airport for medical transportation

SANA’A, 27 November 2019 – After more than three years of closure, it has been announced that Sana’a International Airport is to be re-opened to allow sick patients to travel overseas for life-saving treatment. In August, CARE & NRC reported that up to 32,000 people may have died through not being able to travel overseas for medical care.

“It has been three long years since Sana’a airport was closed,” said Aaron Brent, CARE Yemen’s Country Director. “Now we have a very positive signal that parties to the conflict are taking the wellbeing of Yemen’s people seriously, and we hope they will follow through on this gesture of goodwill, which could ultimately pave the way for peace.”

While opening the airport to medical patients will be a critical first step, the Saudi-led coalition must go one step further and open it up to commercial flights, which will bring in commercial and humanitarian goods and give Yemenis the freedom to travel overseas – something that in most countries is taken for granted.

“As the UN and international organisations have cautioned repeatedly, there is no military solution to the almost five-year conflict in Yemen,” said Brent. “Only a truly inclusive political solution will lead to peace, and to the beginning of the end of suffering for millions of men, women & children who have seen their country decimated.”

Yemen is in the fifth year of a conflict that has been relentless for the vast majority of the population, with 24 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, including over 7 million women and girls who are in acute need. The economy has collapsed, 3.6 million people have been displaced, and millions are malnourished and at risk of famine.

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